A Worn Path Essay. A Woman, Who Could See With Her Heart


A Worn Path EssayIf you like to read about strong-minded women, then the short story “A Worn Path” is just for you. You want spent much time on reading it. I promise, it will take you fifteen or twenty minutes.  On our website you can read a short, but interesting “A Worn Path” essay about this story. We can do such kind of written work – specially for you.

So, let’s talk about “A Worth Path” and the great American writer Eudora Welty.

Eudora Welty was named after her two grannies. Eudora was born in a good family; her mother devoted herself to her children. Eudora liked reading, and later she says: “Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” Soon, besides books, young Miss Eudora Welty was fond of photography. Because of her work, she travelled a lot, and during her travels, she made hundreds of unique photos. Years later she published two albums of her own photos: “One Time, One Place. Mississippi in the Depression. A Snapshot Album” and “Country Churchyards”. Her pictures are really worth seeing.

Despite her frequent trips, Eudora did not forget about books and writing. Soon she started to publish her stories, which became more and more popular among the readers. Eudora Welty became a famous American writer, she is the author of more then, ten books (among them novels, collections of short stories, literary and autobiographical essays). It is not easy to understand Eudora’s stories. You should read attentively and think about every detail. And then you will understand the creative world of this talented writer.

“A Worn Path” – is a short story about old African-American woman. Her name was Phoenix Jackson. We can guess that the lady had a difficult life, but all the circumstances only strengthened the poor woman. Phoenix Jackson had no money, but she was rich, she could listen to her heart and she knew how to make people happy.

Firstly we meet an old woman on the road. Her clothes are very poor and the woman is very tired. It was a Christmas time, and Phoenix was on her way from the countryside to the city of Natchez. In the village she had an ill grandson, and she was going to pick up some medicine for him. Every time she received this medicine as a charity.

The woman is really very old, she cannot remember her age. But she knew, that during the Civil War was not able to go to school, that’s why she can’t read. Phoenix Jackson is nearly blind, but she knows her way perfectly. She went this road hundreds of times, that is why the path is worn. It was not easy trip, because Natchez was far away, and the old woman walked slowly and often needed to have a rest. When Jackson got into the trouble, she met a White Hunter. The man helped her to get out of the ditch. The Hunter gave Phoenix some money and asked her to come back home, because the city was still far away. He was sure that black woman just wanted to meet a Santa Claus.  But the old woman knew what she was doing and she tried to remember her goal. From time to time Phoenix can slip into a dream and even forget her task. When she had a rest, suddenly she saw a boy with a cake in his hand. The old woman even wanted to take the cake, but it was just the air. But despite such moments, granny pulled herself together and continued her way.

During the story there are some short monologues.  From them we learn a little about the main character, about her life and thoughts. Phoenix is really very tired, but she enjoys her trip. We can see that from her behavior and her words.  The trip is very difficult, but important, and women’s attitude to the circumstances demonstrates the goodness of her character. She talks to the beautiful landscape, she worries about safety of little animals, and she is really very patient with the thorn bush. Once she thought she met a ghost in the field, but it was only a scarecrow and the women started to dance; she was happy that her death has not yet come.

Coming to the Natchez, she relied only on her memory, because she could not read and find the right way. Her memory was quite okay, and the old woman found the way to the clinic, but then something interesting have happened. Phoenix concentrated on her way and absolutely forgot about the medicine for her grandson. When the nurse asked her about the boy’s health the old women was quite silent for a long time. She forgot what the reason of her coming was. Later Phoenix explained the nurse, that she has such problem with her memory, because she is too old. Granny received one more nickel as a Christmas present and decided to buy a pinwheel for her boy. She did not care about herself, but only about her child. She was ready to go this long way again, because she wanted to see, how surprised will be her little boy, when he would see such a wonderful pinwheel. Phoenix had a really kind heart.

When I read this short story I was impressed. How much strength and courage has this poor old woman. She was perfect granny for her grandson, and I am sure that we have a lot to learn from her.

“A Worn Path” tells us about woman’s undying love and devotion that pushes us toward a goal. In spite of her poverty, the black old woman was single-minded and happy. She knew, that should take care of her ill boy, and that he needs her presence. And as long as someone needs her care, she will be alive and happy!