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A Worn Path by Eudora Welty (an analysis)

             Pheoenix Jackson's feeble mind and body was no obstacle to the unsurmountable devotion she felt toward her grandson. Pheonix proved this on a number of occassions throughout the story. Her sheer determination was baffling. Her courage to press on without concern of what the path brought was inspirational. She was a selfless woman whose spirit could not be broken. The story raises conflict with sanity and insanity, strength with weakness, and fear with bravery. We all can identify somewhat with Phoenix, and learn even more from her. The plot, characterization, and theme exemplifies the universal truth, people will go to any extremes for the ones they love.
             Throughout the plot, Phoenix encounters many challanges both physical and mental in nature. Though her eyes are dimmed and her body is waxed old with age, Phoenix is as head-strong as any able body. She takes no thought of her limitations, but focuses on the tasks at hand. No matter situation arose,Phoenix was ready to tackle it. She was emcumbered by thorny bushes, held at gunpoint, mocked and growled at, yet nothing could quench her fiery intent. There were niether external nor internal boundaries that would hinder her from reaching her destination. She had no concept of her own worth, except what she could do for others(namely her grandson). Her altruistic attitude is evident within the journey.
             Phoenix characterization employs similar tone. Her gentle childlike spirit captures the innonce of her gesture. Her boldness is demonstrated by embarking on a journey, that even the young hunter said he would not do without something for his trouble. The story depicts Phoenix as a lonely, pitiful, and poverty stricken woman with much grief to contend. She may have not had an education, but she was wise in life and love. The fact that she was so defenseless, and invincible at the same time, drew depth and meaning to the piece. The story's title "A Worn Path", suggests that it was more than a journey for Phoenix, but a way of life.

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