A Worn Path

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There is no question that Welty knew what she was doing when she chose to name the main character of “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson. A Phoenix is a mythological creature that lives for five… (read full symbol analysis)
The story can be thought of as a kind of road trip. Phoenix travels over many different kinds of surfaces, from sand, to wagon trails, to sidewalks. She also encounters many obstacles along her path… (read full symbol analysis)
At first, Phoenix misidentifies the scarecrow as a black man or a dancing ghost. Both initial reactions reflect a longstanding and very local history of violence against black people, particularly black males. Phoenix has lived… (read full symbol analysis)
At the very end of the story, newly equipped with two nickels, Phoenix decides to buy her grandson a paper windmill. While before she has been concerned only with practicalities, her newfound money—a kind of… (read full symbol analysis)