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 economic freedom—allows Phoenix to think about a wonder of the world that she can give to her grandson. Though the windmill is beautiful, it is also something that harnesses nature into energy, and reflects the hope that her grandson might use his natural abilities, now that they are both free, to some greater good. However, the fact that the windmill is paper reminds us that the hope is a fragile one, and one that is contingent on historical and social forces beyond Phoenix and her grandson.