The Worn Path Essay Research Paper A
The Worn Path Essay, Research Paper
?A Worn Path?
The story opens with Phoenix Jackson walking along the path through the pinewoods. She is carrying a thin, small cane made of an umbrella. The story then begins describing her. She is wearing a red rag, a “dark striped dress reaching down to her shoe tops, and an equally long apron of bleached sugar sacks, with a full pocket: all neat and tidy, but every time she took a step she might have fallen …. ” The story also describes her “worn path” of a face. “Her eyes are blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles …” All of these descriptions show Phoenix as a person who has weathered a great storm. A simple walk through an airy open field is turned into an obstacle course full of imagination and struggle. The first heroic quality is the fact that she has overcome a large obstacle. In this case, that obstacle is age.
Bravery is another key heroic characteristic that Phoenix possesses. The simple fact that she is more than 90 years old as is walking through a field participating in what is described as childhood antics. Phoenix has a hunter point a gun in her face and she doesn?t even blink an eye. ?He laughed and lifted his gun and pointed it at Phoenix. She stood straight and faced him. ?Doesn?t the gun scare you?? ? No sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done.? This shows a great amount of courage, even to the extent of carelessness. She overcomes all of the obstacles she encounters–no matter how large or small–with courage and fortitude. At one point she has to climb over a barbed-wire fence, which is no small task for a woman of her age. In order to make it past this obstacle, she has to “creep and crawl, spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps” Bravery alone may not be heroic. I believe that it becomes heroic when the couragesness of your decision goes beyond rational thought.
One of the most important of these skills is the ability to talk herself through periods of difficulty. She “talks loudly to herself” so as to give herself courage to continue toward her goal, to get the medicine that will alleviate her grandson’s pain. Her own pain becomes insignificant when she remembers the importance of her mission, and this is what makes her truly heroic.