A Worn Path


Eudora Welty

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Phoenix Jackson

Phoenix, an aged and frail but also fierce woman (she was born into slavery in the pre-Civil-War South, though the story takes place in 1940), will not allow anything in her path to stop her… (read full character analysis)


The hunter appears relatively briefly in the story, but he unforgettably exemplifies the racial politics that Phoenix has to deal with in her day-to-day life. Though at first he aids Phoenix when she has fallen… (read full character analysis)


For Phoenix, her grandson represents the future of her family, and perhaps, for black people in general. Though we never get to see him, we do know that he suffers greatly after having swallowed… (read full character analysis)


The nurse knows Phoenix from her twice annual visits to the doctor’s office. Though she is sympathetic to Phoenix, she is also a bit impatient when Phoenix is slow to respond to her and seems… (read full character analysis)


On first looking at Phoenix in the doctor’s office, the attendant assumes that Phoenix is a “charity case”. She is fairly rude and condescending, haranguing Phoenix for failing to give immediate answers rather than caring… (read full character analysis)
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Phoenix stops this woman on the street and asks the woman to tie her (Phoenix’s) shoes. The woman, who is probably white, obliges, and kneels down in a scene reminiscent of Mary Magdalene washing Christ’s… (read full character analysis)