Phoenix Jackson: An Unyielding Character.
At one point or another in time, everyone will be faced with a difficult obstacle, or a seemingly impossible challenge to overcome. It is at a time like this that one has to stare adversity in the face, and instead of frowning, smile and press on. In Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path", the main character, Phoenix Jackson, is subject to a tedious, troublesome journey that she has to embark upon every year. The rough journey, alone, is an obstacle for anyone, but as a rather old, black woman, traveling in the midst of the winter, the task is suddenly a lot more straining. However, intent on retrieving medicine for someone she loves, her sick grandson, Phoenix places herself in a situation that could cause her death. Phoenix's old age, failing eyesight, and recurring hallucinations add on to the already difficult task she is facing; yet, through a determined mind and a persevering body, she is able to accomplish what she set out to do. .
Firstly, Welty explicitly states that Phoenix is a very old woman- "Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles .but a golden color ran underneath- This statement means that even though Phoenix has the appearance of a feeble woman, portrayed by her eye color and wrinkling skin, she has a dedicated spirit that shines through, shown by her golden undertone. One person even goes as far as to say that Phoenix looked "at least one hundred years old". With assertions like the aforementioned, Welty paints a portrait of Phoenix, as the short story .
opens, that is so vivid, it is as if the reader could reach out and touch her, enabling the reader to visualize the scenes as they occur. .
Several times throughout the story, Phoenix becomes a victim to her own age. For instance, during her journey, a black dog comes upon her knocking her over, and she falls like " a little puff of milkweed".