A Worn Path

A Worn Path The story A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty, tells the journey on foot of an elderly black women, Phoenix Jackson, from her home to the nearest town. She makes the journey to go to the doctor to get medicine for her sick grandson. On the trip, she runs into some trouble here and there with her dress getting caught in the underbrush and old age getting to her. She encounters a big dog that knocks her over, but is soon rescued by a passing hunter. As she gets to town, Phoenix asks a woman to her to help her tie her shoes then, proceeds to the doctors office. When she arrives there, her memory fails her and she forgets what her long trip was for.

The light comes on and she remembers her grandsons medicine. She gets the medicine and the money the nurse gives her, goes and buys a gift for her grandson and sets off for home. In this story, old age and class alienate Phoenix from society. Old age alienates Phoenix from a hunter she encounters on the trail. Age alienates Phoenix from the hunter when he assumes her age enables her to continue her trip to town. The hunter states, Why, thats too far! Thats as far as I walk when I come out myself and I get something for my trouble..

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Now you go home, Granny! (Welty, 215) By saying the trip is too far, the hunter shows he does not believe Phoenix can make it to town due her elderly age. When he says .. and I get something for my trouble (Welty, 215), the hunter infers that he feels Phoenix has no business being out there making the long trip, and there is no reason good enough for her to be venturing that far. The hunter alienates Phoenix because her age by telling her the trip is too far and calling her Granny. Class alienates Phoenix Jackson from the attendants in the doctors office.

As Phoenix walks in the door one attendant says, A charity case, I suppose (Welty, 216). Based on appearance alone, the attendant makes the assumption that she was a charity case. A poignant scene at the storys close confirms the readers suspicion of Phoenixs extreme poverty.. (Magill, 2432). This scene proves to the reader Phoenix is not very high class.

She is automatically assumed to be a charity case and then asked what was wrong with her, implying she does not look very good. Aldridge writes, [In Weltys stories] [t]here are members of racial minorities, the economically oppressed, shut-ins, and various individuals in the grip of social forces.. In the beautiful story, ?A Worn Path, the nurse at the clinic becomes aware of a barrier .. of which she is unable to explain, between herself and Grandma, an old Negro woman(507). This barrier between them is a social barrier that alienates Phoenix from the attendants.

Phoenix being from a lower class alienates her from the attendants. Age and class alienate Phoenix from herself. The trip through the woods was not an easy task for Phoenix. Phoenix says, Seems like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far (Welty, 213). She has a hard time making this trip due to her age. Magill writes, The frail old woman, called Phoenix, travels slowly and painfully through a sometimes hostile landscape..

(2432) Phoenixs age prohibits her from easily making her journey that is so dear to her through the woods. The trip makes her so tired she forgets the point of the whole trip. As she gets to the doctors office a fixed and ceremonial stiffness came over her body (Welty, 216). Finally the light flickers on and Phoenix remembers why she made the journey into town. Her memory is slowly fading with her age.

Class and age alienate Phoenix from herself. In Phoenixs encounter with the hunter, trip into the woods and to the doctors office, and memory loss , age and class alienate her from society. English Essays.