A Worn Path


Eudora Welty

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The Scarecrow Symbol Icon
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 through much of this history and its changing iterations as the country in which she lives has transitioned from slavery to other forms of oppression and subjugation, including the poverty and racism that Phoenix herself experiences. The scarecrow represents all the potential of black lives that had been lost through the constraining shackles of slavery, lynchings, and general poverty and legal repression.
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The Scarecrow Symbol Timeline in A Worn Path

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Scarecrow appears in A Worn Path. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Worn Path
Race and Class Theme Icon
Perseverance and Power Theme Icon
Human Dignity Theme Icon
...her loss of sense, saying she “should be shut up for good”. She commands the scarecrow to dance “while I dancing with you,” then, shaking her head slightly, continues walking. (full context)