A Worn Path

Essay by azrul217College, UndergraduateB+, October 2013

download word file, 2 pages 0.0


I have chosen my favorite short story which is "A Worn Path", written by Eudora Welty. The story is really interesting, about how an old woman manages to go through a hard trip, just to get her sick grandson's medicine. I am truly amazed by the main character in this story while I feel very irritated with the other character which has bad acts to the main character.

When I read this story for the very first, I found it quite confusing. Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" depicts about Phoenix Jackson's journey. At first read, this story seems to be about her, walking down a path while talking to animal and having hallucinations. It is sound very weird. However, as I went over the story again and again, I found it quite interesting. Then, I could understand it because this story is somehow difficult to be understood completely.

Phoenix Jackson, an elderly black woman, "an old Negro woman" (line 2, page 1), is the character that I like the most in this story. It is because she is a determined, strong-willed person. She has set out her journey over mountains, through fields, and across the creek, with one purpose in mind, to retrieve the soothing medicine that will give life to her only grandson. Even though the hill is like a mountain to break her will, "Something always take a hold of me on this hill - pleads I should stay" (line 25, page 1), Phoenix does endures the hardship and pain of climbing the hill and not let it keep her from making the trip.

Apart from that, she is also a very responsible woman. She walks to get medicine for her sick grandson who "swallowed lye" (line 25, page 5). She would go through the difficult journey fill with a lot of danger just to get the medicine. I think everyone wish to have a grandmother just like her. Her sense of responsibility indeed touches my heart that I can really feel she loves her grandson so much. I am jealous to the grandson for having a very kind-hearted grandmother as I do not have my grandmother anymore.

The character in this story which I personally dislike the most is the hunter. I think he is a very rude, disrespectful man. After running a dog off, he returns to Phoenix and points his gun right at her, "he laughed and lifted his gun and pointed it at Phoenix" (line 2, page 4), as if he knows he could kill the old black woman and no one would care. The hunter does not even stop to think that a small child, loved greatly by Phoenix, waits for her at home. But then I am really touched by Phoenix because she does not afraid at all for the hunter threats. She will survive through anything for her grandson.

The hunter also is being dishonest to Phoenix as he lies to her, telling her that he will give Phoenix some money if he has any, "I'd give you a dime if I had any money with me" (line 8, page 4), when actually he does have the money because Phoenix finds a nickel on the ground that fall out of the his pocket. I do feel really mad because the hunter does not help Phoenix, and even asks her to not continue her journey because he thinks that she embarks her long journey just to meet Santa Claus at the town. This shows that the hunter is indeed a racist.



eNotes. (2013). A Worn Path: Characters. Retrieved from http://www.enotes.com/worn-path/characters

BigNerds. (2012). A Worn Path. Retrieved from http://www.bignerds.com/papers/11659/A-Worn-Path/