Tough & Tattered

Essay by icremeenCollege, UndergraduateB, November 2014

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Ian Cremeen

Professor Scotty Smith

ENG 1123

21 October 2014

Tough & Tattered

"A Worn Path" describes the journey of an elderly black woman named Phoenix Jackson who walks from her home to the city of Natchez to get medicine for her sick grandson. Welty produces a picture of an aging African-American woman in the Jim Crow South. In "A Worn Path" we learn of the hardships Jackson faces on her weekly journey for medicine to sooth the pain of her grandson. Welty conveys this these hardships by giving the reader insight into the physical health, the mental health, and the socio-economic status of Jackson.

Phoenix Jackson is personified as an aging tree. Phoenix Jackson's physical age hinders both her journey through the woods and life. The character is weak and feeble. The character does not have sufficient agility or elasticity; thus, maneuvering through the swanky woods is time-consuming, challenging and strenuous.

Phoenix Jackson is the manifestation of the phoenix (bird). Phoenix's name symbolizes what she represents. The phoenix gives the feeling of hope, security, and promise. Its mission is to protect the weak and banish the evil. Phoenix's objective was to acquire medicine to rid her grandson of his suffering. Phoenix Jackson's, in "A Worn Path," physical limitations eluded to the difficulties she faces throughout her journey.

In addition to her physical deterioration, Phoenix Jackson is struggling with senility and mental fatigue. The round character is fatigued by life. Jackson has lost her perception and memory. She is easily fooled and mistaken. Although Phoenix is very old and deteriorated mentally, she is still able to focus on the things which are important to her. Phoenix knows that she must make a difficult journey through the forest in order to get her grandson his...