Worn Path DQ - a-worn-path

A Worn Path
By Eudora Welty
What emotions
does this story
evoke in you?
Answer 1:
At first it was confusing, you didn’t really
now what was going on. If you read into all
the symbols you feel anguish for this
women that tries to overcome so much for
her grandson that she loves.
“Under her small blackfreckled hand her
cane, limbered as a buggy whip, would
switch at the brush as if to rouse up any
hiding things”(pg.622) What we felt in this
passage was that at any moment the fact
that her grandson is actually dead will hit
her at any moment.
Question 2
What is your reaction to the
ending of the story? Would you
prefer to know that Phoenix
Jackson’s grandson is alive? Why
or why not?
• You realize that Phoenix has overcome so
much for the one she loves, and would
travel a long path for. You don’t know if her
grandson is dead or alive. We wouldn’t
want to know that her grandson is either
or, it lets you use your
imagination, and it’s a
path that we would all
travel for the ones we
• “She lifted her free hand,
gave a little nod, turned
around, and walked out
of the doctor’s office.”
Question 3
Why does Phoenix
make her journey?
She makes her journey to get her
grandson medicine for his throat, ”Yes,
Swallowed lye.”(pg.626) On her way there
she gets five cent from two people, and
with those ten cents she plans to buy a
paper windmill for her grandson. A times
people put windmills on graves, so is her
grandson dead?
• What obstacles does
Phoenix Jackson
encounter on her
Answer 4
• The Physical aspect of her age
• A path that is “worn” out
• People that don’t have respect for her
because of her race.
• Humiliation and Discrimination
• Overall, although she was considered a
citizen she had to go through so much
discrimination, and she even felt that she
had to go through it with the thorny bush
that "never want to let folks pass" (pg.622)
Question 5:
• A) What does the
nurse ask Phoenix?
• B) How does Phoenix
explain her inability to
Answer #5: Part A&B
• A) The Nurse asks Phoenix how her
grandson is doing. “Is his Throat any
• B) Phoenix tells her that she forgot for
a second why was the reason she made
the trip. Then she tells the nurse that
she didn’t go to school, after the civil
war ended it was to late for her to
attend. “I’m an old woman without an
Question 6
• What details of the setting help to
create a somber, mournful
Answer 6
• The whole idea of this elderly women walking
through the forest by herself gives you this
horrible feeling that something will happen to
her out their. “She walked slowly in the
dark pine shadows…”(pg.622) All the animals
that were around made you wonder if one
was going to pop out of no where and attack
her. But all the animals seemed to not bother
her at all, “Sleep on, alligators, and blow
your bubbles.”(pg.624)
Question 7
• How would you characterize the attitudes
of the hunter, the attendant, and the nurse
toward Phoenix?
Answer 7
• Although they all sounded consistent to the fact
that they where trying to be helpful toward her
you couldn't help it but still think that they where
discriminating against her. You feel this tone in
their voice that they were still being barbaric
towards her .
• “Old Phoenix only gave a twitch to her face as if
a fly were bothering her. {are you deaf} cried the
Question 8
• Why do you think Phoenix does not
immediately respond to the questions of
the nurse and the attendant?
Answer 8
• She probably didn’t answer immediately
because she got a glance at the life that
she had before of how people just treated
her badly. She wanted people to talk to her
with respect
Question 9
• What is the significance of
the story’s taking place at
Christmas time?
Answer 9
• When you think of Christmas it’s a time of
happiness, a time to forgive and forget. It’s a
time where miracles happen. Christmas is when
everyone comes together no matter what race
you are, or age,
“Please missy will you lace up my shoe?...
Stand still then grandma, said the lady. She put
her packages down on the side walk beside her
and laced and tied both shoes tightly”(pg.625)
Question 10
• What does Phoenix’s
journey symbolize?
Answer 10
• Her journey symbolizes her path through life,
different obstacles that we all encounter
with. Or this journey could be the recognition
that her grandson is indeed dead, not alive. A
cycle, or a story that just keeps running
through her head. What separates reality
from fantasy.
• Or the journey that she took represents the
rode that many had taken for civil rights. The
abusment that they all suffered, but at the
end freedom was won.
“…and when a little boy brought her a plate
with a slice of marble cake on it she spoke to
him. {That would be acceptable,}”
Question 11
• Do you think the story would be
different if the setting were
changed? Why or why not?
Answer 11
• If the setting was at the desert she
probably wouldn’t have survived her
journey, to get her grandson medicine.
She most likely would have dehydrated, or
because of her age wouldn’t allow her to
make it through that weather.
“She left that tree, and had to go through a
barbed wire fence…”(pg.623)