Paper: A Brief Incident in the Life of Phoenix Jackson in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

In A Worn Path, a story of about 3,500 words, Eudora Welty describes a brief incident in the life of an old but almost timeless black woman, Phoenix Jackson. Welty shows that Phoenix possesses great personal strength and cheerfulness despite the grimness of her life. The story is mostly narrative, with dialogue when characters other than Phoenix appear, and with monologue as. Phoenix herself addresses animals, a thornbrush, birds, a scarecrow, and her self. Her spiritual strength and optimism are shown in her walk through the countryside, her experience on the streets, and her meeting with the medical personnel. Throughout Phoenixs journey through the woods and fields, she is kept company by the nature which surrounds her. Although she walks alone, she does not feel lonely or feel sorry for herself. Also, even though the path Phoenix follows takes her over hills, through thorny bushes, across creeks, and under a barbed-wire fence, she never lets the rugged trail get to her. In her persistence, Phoenix demonstrates extreme strength and bravery. She knows her mission is to get to town, and she does not let anything discourage her. As Phoenix arrives in town, she realizes that her eyesight alone is not good enough to lead her through the streets. Instead of giving up and turning back, however, she decides to rely on her feet to get her where she needs to go. Before she starts on her walk through town, Phoenix discovers that her shoe lace is untied and politely asks a lady on the street if she could tie it for her. She shows that she is not too proud to ask for help if she really needs it. One can clearly see that although Phoenix is very old, she has taken this path so many times that she is able to safely move through town in route to her destination. When Phoenix finally arrives at the doctors office, she is met by a very discourteous desk attendant. She does not allow herself to be deterred by the womans rudeness, however. Phoenix waits until the nurse enters and questions her before stating the purpose of her trip. As Phoenix talks with the nurse about her grandsons illness, she remains hopeful that he will be all right. Phoenix is often met with extreme physical tasks for a woman her age and much ridicule from the people she comes across during her journey. Although her trip to town is hard, she meets every obstacle with a smile. She never hangs her head in shame or with defeat. Phoenix Jackson, throughout the story, repeatedly shows great faith and great strength. Her optimism is truly a trait to admire. ...