January 19, 2021
The worn path
One of the favorite books that I read this semester is Eudora Welty’s story “A Worn Path”. I love this piece because of its sense of symbolism that the author used to capturing the struggles of life, faith, and love. The author meticulously used Symbolism as a bridge of to connect readers to their inner conflicts which gave it a deeper meaning than simply the old woman who was portrayed walking through the woods. The audience is taken on a precarious, risky, and slightly exciting journey where an old woman, Phoenix Jackson is determined to ensure that she completes the journey even though she is fragile and suffering from poverty and hallucination illustrating the theme of struggles, unconditional love, and religion”.
Through the old woman’s journey into the town, we realize that she was going to buy medication for her grandson who was sick. This was an illustration that loves and affection trumps everything because the aged woman known as Phoenix Jackson is determined to ensure that she completes the journey even though she is fragile and suffering from poverty and hallucination. The author shows a poor, old and weak grandmother who is in torn clothes with an improvised cane and who is walking in chilly weather conditions. This helps in creating a vivid and real-life as it may seem to the reader.
Upon reading further, we realize that the only motivation of this old woman living is seeing her grandson back to good health. The central idea is that love is capable of empowering a person making it easy for them to overcome very many obstacles some of which are grave. Phoenix Jackson comes across many obstacles on her way. These obstacles hinder her journey but she stays put and determined. One of the major obstacles that she faces is her old age. These are physical aspects that hinder her from realizing her dream. Phoenix Jackson is described by the author as a weak and feeble woman something that makes her journey very arduous. A good example of how this obstacle is shown as a very big impediment for her to realize her dream is when she wanted to cross a log that laid crossways a stream. Another instance was when she was required to creep through the barbed wire fence. However, Phoenix Jackson was determined to endure all these for her grandson to regain back his health.
Nature is another obstacle that she faces in her journey to the town. a good example is that she was required to go down a hill and she got trapped by some spikes along her way to getting her son’s medication. She was seen talking to the thorns as they held her dress. “Thorns, you are doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you were a pretty little green bush” (Welty p22). All these obstacles that she faces along the journey are used as symbols to illustrate the unexpected obstacles that we face and are required to triumph over on the course of life. Phoenix Jackson keeps going forward and winning over the obstacles that she faces on her journey with courageous stoicism. During her journey, Phoenix Jackson signifies the walk of life that the Christians go through as it is deduced in the bible. The story has illustrated that indeed, the journey was very long. The speaker for example says that “out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack, rabbits, cocoons…. I got a long way” (Welty p1). The hunter that she meets along the way also in their conversation illustrated that the journey to town was indeed a long one. “That’s too far! That is as far as I walk when I come out of myself, and I get something for my trouble” (Welty p3). This journey can be compared with the many journeys that have been illustrated in the bible that were filled with a lot of obstacles and hardships. Some example includes that of Abraham into Canaan, that of Moses out of Egypt and many others which are similar to the Worn Path. In the bible, the journey represents the predicaments and trials that Christians go through before they reach the destination that is the glory of heaven. Worn Path also represents the walk of life in the course of many challenges but with determination, she gets to the destination.
In surmise, we can say that “The worn path” is a reflection of the Christianity faith. The readers see her leap of faith as she symbolically closed her eyes and stepped forward. Faith has been used greatly as the fueling factor that enables phoenix Jackson to reach her destination. She is given free medicine in town just like Christianity salvation is free. Although many of us may have never had to deal with hardships and had to deal with them as much as Phoenix did, there is something about this tale that reminds us of our own lives. At some time, we may have felt alone and thus we have something similar with this situation.
Welty, Eudora, and Elizabeth Sarcone. A worn path. Creative Education, 1991