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A Worn Path

Uploaded by Admin on Dec 08, 2000

In the modern short story, Eudora Welty clearly develops Phoenix Jackson as a main character who indirectly manipulates other people. Phoenix, as the speaker in “A Worn Path” holds the status of an old Negro woman who continues the everyday cycle of life. Although, in reality Phoenix is an average human being, who feels she must be rewarded for living. Phoenix believes that humanity owes her something for the troubles she encounters throughout her lifetime. When Phoenix says to the hunter, “that’s as far as I walk when I come out myself, and I get something for my trouble” (paragraph 46). Incidentally, Phoenix replies to the old hunter’s question it is quite clear that she undoubtedly is expecting compensation; whether it is a pity party or a monetary gift to settle the score. Because Phoenix feels like she must abuse other people, she appears to have the power to be in control of any situation that might come her way. Throughout Welty’s “A Worn Path,” Phoenix Jackson and her actions symbolize her to be a selfish and manipulative woman.

Phoenix’s obsession with power, is the basis of her idea to manipulate other people; which is clearly explained through her dialogue with the persons she comes in contact with on her journey into town. Along with Phoenix’s obsession with being pitied upon by the hunter, she also feels like she never plans to succumb to defeat. When Phoenix replies to the old man’s question concerning why she was laying in the bushes; she said, “ Lying on my back like a June-bug waiting to be turned over mister” (paragraph 39). In reality, she meant she was patiently waiting for someone to come to her rescue. Phoenix is terribly selfish throughout the entire story but tends to be more evident in this situation.

Although, Phoenix may seem to only be concerned with herself; she definitely displays a conscience throughout the story. When Phoenix encounters the hunter, she begins to feel guilty when she snatches the money from the hunter as it is falling out of his clothes. When Phoenix says to the hunter, “ No, sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done.” She is actually indicating that she is not afraid of the gun that he is pointing directly at her. Which in turn, she begins to feel guilty for taking the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   12/08/2000

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (645 words)

Views:   2255

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