Analysis of Eudora Welty, A Worn Path

By the due date assigned, attach the rough draft of your essay as a Microsoft Word document to the Discussion Area. By the end of the week, comment on at least two of your classmate’s submissions using the peer review questions provided below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your instructor will assign 3-5 short stories for the class to read and discuss this week. Check the Week 4 Announcement for a list of the assigned stories. You must choose one of these stories to earn credit on the assignment.

Choose one of the short readings below:

  • Ernest Hemingway, “A Clean Well-Lighted Place”
  • Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
  • Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path”
  • Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”

Also, here’s are some alternative readings for this assignment:

  • Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”
  • Sandra Cisneros, “The House on Mango Street”

Compose an analytical essay of at least 1,200 words in which you offer an interpretation of a literary element in one of the assigned short stories. Write your analysis focusing on one of the following elements in one of the assigned stories:

  1. Character
  2. Theme
  3. Symbolism
  4. Imagery
  5. Setting

Start by selecting one of the short stories assigned by your instructor. Brainstorm to identify the literary element that you would like to explore in the story. Choose from character, theme, symbolism, imagery, or setting. Then, develop a thesis that offers a specific interpretation of this element. If you have trouble coming up with a thesis, contact your instructor, who will help you. Do not do any outside research at this point. When finished, the draft should be at least 1,200 words (approximately four double-spaced pages).

Tips for the Essay:

  • Open your introduction with an engaging opener, such as a question, quote from the story, or interesting idea. Then, connect to the short story and mention the title and the author. End your introduction with a thesis statement that interprets one literary element of the story (such as theme, symbolism, or characterization).
  • The body paragraphs should support your thesis. Present specific aspects of the short story that help to illustrate your points. Make sure to quote from the story and analyze specific lines that support your argument.
  • Include a strong concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and explains the significance of the thesis.

APA Reminder

Use APA style for formatting the essay and for source citations. Begin with a title page. Include a running header, and use proper font and spacing. End with a separate references page. Refer to the Week 1 lecture on avoiding plagiarism for an APA essay template and additional resources.

DO NOT PLAGIARIZE BECAUSE IT HAVE TO BE SUBMITTED THROUGH TURNITIN!

It is due February 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm Central Standard Time.

 

 

Analysis of Eudora Welty, A Worn Path

 

 

 

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Analysis of Eudora Welty, A Worn Path

What is the human spirit’s capacity for endurance? Eudora Welty is a celebrated American author known for her vivid and evocative short stories. One of her most renowned works is “A Worn Path,” a poignant and powerful tale of resilience and determination in the face of hardship. According to Singh (2020), the story follows an elderly, poverty-stricken woman named Phoenix Jackson as she travels through the Mississippi countryside to collect medicine for her grandson. According to Sigh (2020), through Welty’s masterful imagery and symbolism, “A Worn Path” explores aging, poverty, and the human spirit’s capacity for endurance. As readers, we are moved by Phoenix’s indomitable will and the depth of her devotion to her family. The story is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and a testament to Welty’s skill as a storyteller. This paper discusses Welty’s masterful use of character, theme, symbolism, imagery, and setting.

Character

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” tells the story of Phoenix Jackson, an elderly, poor African American woman. According to Harrington (2020), Phoenix Jackson, the main character in the story, is a complex and dynamic character. Despite her age and poverty, she is determined and resourceful. She has a clear sense of purpose, making the journey to town to retrieve medicine for her grandson. Her love for her grandson is a driving force behind her actions, and she is willing to endure the harsh conditions of the journey to ensure his well-being. According to Qiqun (2020), Phoenix is also portrayed as being in tune with the natural world. She talks to the animals she encounters on her journey and seems to understand the landscape around her deeply. This connection to nature contrasts the harsh realities of her life and symbolizes the resilience and perseverance of the human spirit. Qiqun (2020) also said that despite her determination and resourcefulness, Phoenix is also shown to be vulnerable. She is old, poor, and African American, and her society is not kind to people like her. She is constantly struggling to survive, and her journey reminds her of the harsh realities of poverty and discrimination. Thus, the author Eudora Welty has used the character of Phoenix Jackson in “A Worn Path” to portray an elderly, poor, African American woman whose determination, resourcefulness, and connection to nature make her an enduring and relatable character.

Theme

The author Eudora Welty in “A Worn Path,” has used a variety of themes. According to Li (2020), the story explores a variety of themes through the character of Phoenix Jackson, and one of the themes in the story is poverty. Phoenix is an elderly woman who lives in a state of poverty and relies on the kindness of strangers to survive. The harsh conditions of her journey, including the cold weather and the rough terrain, remind people of the struggles that people living in poverty must endure daily. Li (2020) also states that another theme is aging, whereby Phoenix is an old woman who can no longer care for herself as she used to. Her journey is a physical representation of the difficulties that come with aging. Her body is frail, and she is quickly exhausted by the journey. She is also shown to have memory lapses, a reminder of the fragility of the mind as people age. Li (2020) claims that there is also the theme of resilience. Despite her age and poverty, Phoenix is determined to journey to town to retrieve medicine for her grandson. She is resourceful and adaptable, using her knowledge of the natural world to navigate her way. She also perseveres through the harsh conditions of her journey, showing that even in the face of adversity, people can find the strength to continue. Thus, the author has used the character of Phoenix Jackson to portray the themes of poverty, aging, and resilience.

Symbolism

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is a story with symbolism. The author uses various symbols throughout the story to convey deeper meanings and themes. According to Singh (2020), one of the most prominent symbols in the story is the path that the main character, Phoenix Jackson, travels on. The path represents life’s journey and the struggles one must endure surviving. The path is described as “worn” and “red,” symbolizing the blood, sweat, and tears that Phoenix has put into her journey. The path also symbolizes the repetition and monotony of Phoenix’s life, as she has made this journey many times before. Singh (2020) also states that another symbol in the story is the cane that Phoenix carries with her. The cane symbolizes Phoenix’s age and fragility, as well as her determination and resilience. The cane is also a symbol of Phoenix’s connection to the past, as it was passed down to her from her grandmother. Thus, the author Eudora Welty used different symbols in the story, i.e., the path taken by the main character and her cane.

Imagery

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is a story that has imagery. The author uses various forms of imagery throughout the story to create a vivid and evocative setting and to convey deeper meanings and themes. According to Budiman (2019), one of the story’s most prominent forms of imagery is the use of natural imagery. The story takes place in a rural, desert-like setting, and Welty uses vivid descriptions of the landscape to create a sense of isolation and desolation. For example, the story describes “a red clay road” and “scrub oaks and pines and smothered underbrush,” creating a barren and harsh environment. This imagery also symbolizes the struggles and hardships the main character, Phoenix Jackson, must endure. Thus, the author uses natural imagery in the story “A Worn Path.”

Setting

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” uses setting in several ways. The setting has been used to convey deeper meanings and themes. The story’s setting, a rural and isolated area, is both physical and symbolic of the story’s events. According to Singh (2020), one of the most prominent ways the setting is used is to create a sense of isolation and desolation. The story takes place in a rural, desert-like area, and Welty uses vivid descriptions of the landscape to create a sense of distance from civilization. For example, the story describes “a red clay road” and “scrub oaks and pines and smothered underbrush,” creating a barren and harsh environment. This setting also symbolizes the struggles and hardships the main character, Phoenix Jackson, must endure. Thus, the author Eudora has used the setting in “A Worn Path.”

Conclusion

In conclusion, the author Eudora Welty has used characterization whereby the character of Phoenix Jackson is portrayed as an enduring and relatable character. The author has portrayed the themes of poverty, aging, and resilience through the character of Phoenix Jackson. The author Eudora Welty has also used symbolism in the story, i.e., the path taken by the main character and her cane. The author has also used natural imagery throughout the story to create a vivid and evocative setting and to convey deeper meanings and themes. The author has also used the story’s setting, a rural and isolated area, which is both physical and symbolic of the story’s events. Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is a powerful and moving story that explores the human condition and the struggles of life through the character of Phoenix Jackson. Her physical and emotional journey serves as a reminder that despite the hardships and struggles of life, it is possible to rise above it all and continue on.

 

References

Harrington, G. (2020). Mystery and Magic”: Additional Biblical Allusions in Welty’s “A Worn Path. ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews, 1-4.

Singh, S. K. Nature as Inspiring Symbolism in Eudora Welty’s” A Worn Path. “Ecocritical Focus Issue” ISSN 2278-0742, www. ijells. com.

An Analysis of Theme in Welty’s Short Stories from Characters. International Journal of Education and Economics, 124. Li, L.

Budiman, B. M. R. (2019). Inequality Toward Black Women In “A Worn Path” Short Story: A Black Feminism Perspective.

Qiqun, H. (2020, December). Plant Writings in Eudora Welty’s Early Works: A New Materialist Approach. In Forum for World Literature Studies (Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 587-599). Wuhan Guoyang Union Culture & Education Company.

 

 

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