A Life of Perseverance Perseverance can be defined as a “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures, or oppositions” (“Perseverance”). In their short stories “A Worn Path” and “Everyday Use,” Eudora Welty and Alice Walker show perseverance in their characters Phoenix and Mama. Both of these women narrate the passages and are the main characters as well. Welty and Walker both described Phoenix and Mama as characters of determination, willing to overcome obstacles set in their way. These obstacles include racism, environment, oppression, and physical/mental ability.
The short story “A Worn Path” is a tale of a brittle old woman, who is making a long journey to retrieve medicine for her grandson. In the beginning of the short story, Welty describes Phoenix as a very old, small woman. The author goes on to state she walks with the “lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock” (Welty 1). Throughout the passage, Welty uses vivid imagery to describe Phoenix’s mindset and physical well-being. As the story progresses, Phoenix endures many trials and tribulations. An example of this could be when she almost had trouble finding her way.
Welty writes, “Old Phoenix would have been lost if she had not distrusted her eyesight and depended on her feet to know where to take her” (6). Luckily, Phoenix was familiar enough to find her way. As she makes her journey, Phoenix faces prevalent challenges. She relies on her memory and certain objects to travel the path for her grandson. As she grows weary, Phoenix starts to hallucinate. She imagines a ghost that is actually a coat.
This displays how bad her eyesight can remain at times. The author exaggerates Phoenix Jackson’s quest and her perseverance by assigning h. .ways great athletes, business people or military personnel, but sometimes very average people, people who were highly motivated by a cause they deemed greater than their own lives” (par.1). Hard work is one example of perseverance.
Following that statement, Phoenix and Mama persevere to “achieve astonishing successes, and sometimes stunning victories against seemingly insurmountable odds” (Miller par. 1). According to Walker and Welty, one could agree with this statement: “perseverance is the key ingredient in every success story” (Miller par. 1).Despite the fact both Mama and Phoenix’s journeys were strenuous; they manage to make the most of it. They also remain positive and upbeat throughout both of their situations.
Moreover, the moral of both of the stories is clear: people should not let others hold them back from achieving something they are determined to do.