Symbolic Citations In A Worn Path

1348 words - 6 pages

Symbolism is the use of conventional or traditional signs in the representation of divine beings and spirits. For example, when people say “Life is a roller coaster.” In this metaphorical symbol the person doesn’t actually mean that life is a roller coaster, it’s a figure of speech, which indicates that life has its ups and downs. Another example could be the colors; as everyone is aware that black indicates death, white for purity, and red for danger or passion, purple being the royal color, yellow for violence and lastly blue for peace. Animals have a symbol of something as well; the dove represents peace, lamb innocence and the snake evil, according to The Bible. As you can see, symbolism is to be found usually anywhere.
A Worn Path is a short story about an old Negro woman, Phoenix Jackson, who has a routine. She lives in a village far outside of town. Phoenix has to face obstacles to get to her destination, Natchez. She overlooks through many impediments as she continues with her journey. She bumps into animals, falls into a ditch, and gets stop by a white hunter. Phoenix doesn’t let anything halt her. She is determined to arrive to Natchez. Natchez is a town, in which Phoenix obtains medicine for her extremely ill grandson. Her grandson’s throat stopped functioning properly due to the cause of him swallowing lye a while back. Phoenix is capable of sacrificing herself in order not to lose her only family, her grandson.
In Eudora Welty’s story “A Worn Path”, symbolic contents are found in numerous ways. In this short story the main character, Phoenix Jackson, symbolizes a mythological bird. A mythical bird is a bird that is said to live after 500 years. In the article, “Symbolism in ‘A Worn Path’ by Eudora Welty”, Abu states that she “Represents the myth of the bird because she is described as being elderly and near end of her life.” Phoenix is represented as a mythical bird because she’s very old, yet she seems to be full of life.
Lionhearted is another example that Phoenix symbolizes. According to Michele Beller, “Old frail Phoenix is tougher than she appears and she doesn’t scare easily, either.” In the story, when the white hunter aims the gun at her, “She stood straight and faced him.” (Welty 1278), this shows that Phoenix was beyond courageous. Not even the gun aimed at her brought her fear.
Phoenix is also freehanded. ‘Symbolism in A Worn Path’ implies, “She lives in the pinewoods and face the challenging experience of walking through the snowy, frozen earth to get to the hospital in the city of Natchez.” Phoenix is warmhearted because she walks “a long way” (Welty 1274) through the cold December weather just to receive medication for her ill grandson. She doesn’t mind her condition. All she cares about is her grandson recovering from his sickness.
The marble cake has a symbolic reference in the story as well. It symbolizes no racism. In the article, “’An Worn Path’ by Eudora Welty: Symbols and themes.” the author insists, “The...

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