A Worn Path Criticism

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Since its publication, Welty's story "A Worn Path" has found a responsive audience. One of the most widely anthologized stories of any American writer, the story of Phoenix Jackson's trip into town for her grandson's medicine has been praised both for its simplicity and for its depth. Although the story is brief and simple—the tale of an elderly black woman who travels into town—it contains a level of ambiguity that has fascinated readers for sixty years. Readers have wondered whether the grandson for whom Phoenix Jackson travels along the Natchez Trace is already dead when the story begins. Evidence within the story could support either interpretation, and Welty has said herself only that at least Phoenix believes that he is alive. She says that Phoenix must believe that her journey is in pursuit of life, not death.

Welty's stories are set in the South, and thus...

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This section contains 693 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Worn Path Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Worn Path from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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