A Worn Path Essay

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In the following short essay, Donlan argues that Phoenix Jackson, far from being a stereotyped African-American character, is actually a symbol of immortality.

On the surface Eudora Welty' s short story "A Worn Path" is an account of an old black woman's journey from Old Natchez Trace to Natchez. In fact, some readers may perceive Old Phoenix as a negative black stereotype. However, a second level of interpretation indicates a powerful statement of man's immortality. This paper will be concerned with three elements that substantiate the theme of immortality: references to death, references to time, and references to the Phoenix myth from Egyptian mythology. In this way, Old Phoenix is not a stereotype but a symbol of immortality.

Old Phoenix' journey has significance. The title of the story—"A Worn Path"—suggests the journey to be ritualistic, an idea supported by the phrase "festival figure" used to...

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This section contains 876 words
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Buy the A Worn Path Study Guide
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