Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" takes place in the rural south during 1930s in December. Phoenix Jackson, an old frail poor Negro woman has her head tied in a red rag and wore a long black striped dress with a long apron. She is kept neat and tidy. Phoenix has several disabilities, so she is unsteady on her feet and walks with a cane that is made from an old umbrella. Phoenix also has difficulties with her vision and it can be assumed she has some underlying forgetfulness. The long journey and all of its obstacles and challenges are what she has to endure to get some medicine for her sick grandson. Phoenix has made this trip many times before and even though she is visually impaired, she knows the path by heart and can anticipate the obstacles. Her mood is very happy and amusing, this makes her quest out of unselfish love inspiring courage, compassion and sacrifice for her ill grandson all the more inviting.
With all of the dangerous obstacles that Phoenix must undergo, she successfully accomplishes her task with only a few scrapes. The terrain that she experiences is difficult for a fit person, let alone an old frail woman. Phoenix is faced with thorny brush, rugged terrain, falling into a ditch, and even looking up a barrel of a gun. Phoenix struggled and pushed herself to withstand any challenge and continue because of the love for her grandson. Even though it was a difficult trip, she remained happy and content. .
A reoccurring idea in of "A Worn Path" is that obstacles kept appearing, even after she just accomplished a task. "Phoenix has crossed difficult terrain while fighting thick tears over her eyes." (10) Exhausted and in need of a rest, another challenge arises, so Phoenix takes a deep breath and gathers her courage and believes she can make it through anything. Along the path, there is tree that fell over a creek where she again takes a deep breath and crosses unscathed.