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A Worn Path Symbolism analysis Essay

The essay named A Worn Path by Eudora Welty title suggests that the path that the main character Phoenix takes and the obstacles that she faces are paths and obstacles that all people have to face in their lifetime. Phoenix’s journey on the “path” is both a literal journey as well as a metaphorical journey. The story begins when Phoenix makes her way into a forest abundant with wildlife.

The animals that she is afraid of symbolize her first obstacle in her journey. She tells the animals “Don”t let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way. This shows that even at the very beginning of a person’s journey there will be things that will make a person fearful, but it is best just to keep on going and push those fears aside. Then Phoenix is confronted with her next obstacle in the form of a bush grabbing at her dress.

She at first says that she was fooled by the bush thinking that it was “a pretty little green bush,” when it actually is something that grabs a hold of her dress and almost tears it. This part of the journey shows that the temptations that life may offer might look good or seem like a good idea, but as soon as you get close enough to them they make troubles.

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Phoenix seems to get into one place in the bush thinks that she is finally out, but just gets stuck again in the bush. Life seems to do exactly what the bush in Phoenix’s journey does. As soon as a person thinks that the struggle is over, another problem seems to come up. Phoenix then has to cross over a log laying across a creek. “Putting her right foot out, she mounted the log and shut her eyes. ” When a person has to face something or cross over a tough spot in life, sometimes it is better if that person just closes their eyes and has faith that they will reach the end of their problem.

Phoenix did just that. “Then she opened her eyes and she was safe on the other side. ” When Phoenix takes a break it showed that after going through many struggles it is best to stop, rest, and enjoy the view. Phoenix also is thankful that in winter snakes curl up and sleep. The same is true in life, a person must be thankful for the little things that make a journey easier and not focus on all of the negative things that happen. Next in Phoenix’s journey a big black dog jumps up and knocks her into a ditch. Afterwards the dog just sat there happy to watch the old woman suffer.

The black dog symbolizes a persons enemies in life. They are happy to see you fall down and not be able to get back up. A white man then rescues Phoenix from her suffering. After he helps her though he seems to tease her and make her uneasy with his gun. The situation comes out well for Phoenix though when the man mistakenly drops a nickel. This shows that sometimes bad situations can be a blessing in disguise. At the end of Phoenix’s journey it is revealed why Phoenix had traveled all of that way and it was not for herself, but her little grandson.

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She had forgotten after her whole entire journey, what it was she had came for. Life is the same way. People can live their whole lives searching for something without even knowing what they are looking for. It is not discovered until the final part of her journey that Phoenix discovers what she went through all that for. A Worn Path truly brings out the struggles that every man and woman goes through. Whether it be fear, deception, or any other obstacle like Phoenix faced in this essay.

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A Worn Path Symbolism analysis Essay. (2018, Mar 07). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/literary-arts/prose/symbolism-worn-path-edora-welty-43988/

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