A WORN PATH - rach-ray

Most individuals approach certain challenges and obstacles in their life that can be
overcome and conquered with an appropriate attitude. In the short story, “A Worn Path”, the
author Eudora Welty reveals many hard challenges and obstacles that can be ultimately
conquered with an appropriate attitude. Phoenix is an old and worn down woman with a brisk,
determined and resilient attitude that allows her to endure her long and difficult journey to
retrieve medicine for her dear and sick grandson.
Phoenix begins her journey with a brisk, determined and resilient attitude as she makes
her way through pinewoods and hills filled with thorny bushes and wild animals as she fights
against her old and worn down body. When Phoenix is walking around she is alert and
attentive, noticing there are many wild animals around her that threaten to stop or
inconvenience her. Phoenix gives a warning to the animals and insects around her that she does
not have time for them to stop or slow her down: “Out of my way all you foxes, owls, beetles …
Don’t let none of those come running my direction … I got a long way”(Pg.27). Phoenix makes
her way through the pinewoods and as she starts down the hill to the oaks a bush of thorns
catches her dress in several places, trapping her and threatening to tear her dress. Phoenix
could just sit there and stop because of how tired and tangled up she is, but she is determined
to keep going and not tear her dress, “It was not possible to allow the dress to tear. “I in the
thorny bush”…”Never want to let folks pass, no sir”...Finally trembling all over, she stood
free”(Pg.27). As phoenix crosses through the pinewoods filled with wild animals, the oaks with
thorny bushes and other obstacles, Phoenix is able to overcome and withstand difficult
obstacles and conditions. An example is when she calmly and quickly overcomes the difficult
challenge of squeezing through the barbed wired fence “There she had to creep and crawl
spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a bay trying to climb the steps … But she
talked loudly to herself … At last she was safe through the fence and risen up out in the
clearing.” As Phoenix faces the many obstacles put in front of her at the beginning of her
journey, like walking through the pinewoods and hills filled of wild animals and thorny bushes.
As Phoenix encounters these obstacles she walks briskly and is resilient as she meets animals
and thorny bushes across her path-- determined to get to the end and complete her journey.
Phoenix walks through the whispering field and is teased and deceived by a dancing
scarecrow that at first appeared to be a dancing man. Phoenix could be distressed and worried
that she thought something so silly but instead she just laughed at herself and had fun with the
situation. As Phoenix walks on, she is eventually startled and knocked over by a black dog.
Phoenix was stuck and laid there until a white man came along and helped her out. This
situation is ironic because there is and has always been some tension between white and black
people and it is not very likely that a white man would go out of his way to help an old black
lady back then. As the young hunter asks Phoenix where she lives and where she is headed, he
is shocked and bewildered: “Why that’s too far! That’s as far as I walk when I come out myself…
Now you go on home, Granny!”(Pg.29) Even though the young white man tells her to go home,
she is not discouraged and firmly says, “I bound to go to town, mister”(Pg.29) Phoenix is very
evidently determined to get to town and will not let anyone or anything stop her. While the
man is talking with a Phoenix a nickel falls out of his pocket and the black dog returns and fights
the hunters dog. The hunter chases the dog away with his gun and as he does, Phoenix picks up
the nickel and the man returns, pointing his gun at Phoenix asking if she was scared of it. Brave
and resilient Phoenix replies that she is not scared of it and that she bounds to go on her way.
Phoenix endures so many challenges during the middle of her journey, and after every one, she
gets up and gets going with her brisk, determined and resilient attitude that keeps her going
and leads her in her journey.
Phoenix arrives to town, at the end of her journey with the same attitude of resilience,
determination and briskness that helped her through the beginning of her journey. When
Phoenix is in town she sees a lady coming along in the crowd with presents; she stops her and
asks if she can tie her shoes before she enters the big building in front of her. The lady responds
and kindly ties her laces for her. This act reveals the ladies kindness to Phoenix as well as
sympathy for her as she is asked my tired and worn down Phoenix to tie her shoe. With her tied
shoelaces, Phoenix enters the building she encounters one of her last challenges, a long
staircase, Phoenix stays determined, and slowly but surely, makes her way up it and through a
door. Phoenix enters the room and for a minute is confused as is caught up by the physical toll
that the journey has taken on her. A nurse enters the room and recognizes Phoenix and
immediately asks how her grandson is and if he is dead. Phoenix gathers herself mentally and
physically and reveals the reason of her journey. Phoenix has a grandson that is very sick
because he swallowed lye, and he was left with a throat that closes up so he can’t swallow or
breath. This reveals the real reason of Phoenix’s journey and the reality of her loving sacrifice
for her sick grandson. Phoenix goes through the pinewoods and hills filled with thorn bushes
and animals, with her old and worn down body at a steady and brisk pace, maintaining
resilience and determination to the end. As Phoenix tells the nurse about her grandson she is
given free medicine for him to help him. Phoenix endured so much pain and overcame so many
obstacles so that she could help her sick grandson. No matter how hard Phoenix’s journey is
and how exhausted she becomes- she endures to the end.
As Phoenix makes her long journey to town, she overcomes many social and personal
challenges with her brisk, determined and resilient attitude that allows her to get medicine for
her ill grandson. These attitudes allow Phoenix to be aware, alert, flexible and compliant with
her obstacles as she stays steady and determined to complete her journey and receive
medicine for her sick grandson.