One of the characteristics of “A Worn Path” that I really enjoyed was

One of the characteristics of “A Worn Path” that I really enjoyed was Welty’s use of symbols—
that is Welty’s making the main character’s name mean more than it literally means. For instance, as the narrator begins, she introduces Phoenix Jackson. Then Welty describes Phoenix as walking with a cane that makes a noise sounding like a bird chirping, that Phoenix has wrinkles on her face that look like a small tree, and even later that Phoenix makes her journey to save her grandson(360). While these details may be only descriptive at the time, the narrator also points out that after Phoenix has made her way to the clinic and cannot remember why she made the trip, that “At last there came a flicker and a flame of comprehension […]” (361). Because of Phoenix’s being connected to birds throughout the story, this later connection to the “flame of comprehension” (360), that is the “flame” that will save her grandson, I do not think these details are only descriptions, but that they work together to make Phoenix Jackson’s journey more than just the story of an old Black woman walking through the woods . Because of Welty’s choice of names for Phoenix, this story seems to ask me to consider if Phoenix name is not symbolic and that Jackson’s story may also be a story about an old generation’s responsibility to keep our species alive. Still, Welty’s use of symbolism in this way was not all I liked about her story.