No matter what the journey brings, there isn’t anything you won’t do for unconditional love. That is exactly what Phoenix Jackson did for her grandson in the story “ A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty. The story “ A Worn Path” is a story written about an old Negro woman who lives in the South many years ago with her only grandson. The story is written in first person point of view and third person omniscient point of view.
I say this because you have the main character, Phoenix, who is on a journey down a path and she is talking not only to herself but also to the animals that are in her way along the journey on this path. She tells them “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! … Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites… Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don’t let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way. ” (as cited in Clugston, 2010 section 6. 3).
Phoenix is on a journey that she makes on a regular basis and she does this for her sick grandson. On this particular journey, she encounters some rough path and runs into some questionable characters. The path is heavy with brush and thickets but she makes sure that when she has to crawl through some of this unimaginable stuff, she does not tear her dress through all of this. She wants to make herself look presentable and respectful at the end of her journey. Her first encounter she sees what she thinks is someone dancing off in the distance.
She gets closer and asks whom it is but no one answers her. She is an old woman and her senses are not like they used to be so she cannot see very well. She reaches up and touches a sleeve but no arm in it. She realizes it is an old scarecrow. She is in a cornfield and goes on her way. The second encounter is when she is drinking from a spring, a dog comes upon her and he startles her so she hits him a little bit with her cane. The owner of the dog finds her and gives her a helping hand.
Other than the helping hand up from the spring, he is not very friendly. He is a white man who starts to mock her because of her age. He wants to know where she is going and she says to the city. He tells her she needs to go home. He also makes a reference to her about the colored folk. Phoenix, being the strong woman that she is, is not bothered by anything that is said by the white man. Since he is a hunter and has a rifle on him, he thinks that he can scare her by pointing the rifle at her. Needless to say, she does not even flinch when he does that.
She is on a mission for her grandson and needs what she is going to the city for; so, she is not going to let an ignorant, white man stop her at succeeding on her journey. So, after he sees that he does not scare her, he just gives up and goes on his way and so her journey continues. Next she makes it to the city and once there, she realizes that her shoes are untied. She very nicely and respectfully goes up to a white lady and says to her “Please, missy, will you lace up my shoe? ” (as cited in Clugston, 2010 section 6. ) and this white lady not being racially disrespectful and being respectful to her elder ties her shoes for Phoenix because she realizes she cannot do it herself and she wants to go into the doctor’s office looking decent and with self respect. The whole reason for this journey was because her grandson drank some lye and burned his throat. He needs the medicine to make it feel better and the doctor told Phoenix that as long as she can and will make the journey down the path, he would give her the medicine for free.
To her, this journey is worth everything that she encounters so she can get this medicine to help her grandson to make him feel better. There is nothing that love won’t conquer. Even racial issues, rocky paths, dogs, guns in your face. She made it out of the building with the medicine and with something extra that day, an extra nickel to buy her grandson a Christmas gift that day. The message I was getting was no matter what you encounter on your journey to where you are going, when it is for a loved one, your love, faith, courage and strength will get you there and will conquer all your fears.