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Could the path in "A Worn Path" be associated with the a world path of facing...

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funwithreading | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM via web

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Could the path in "A Worn Path" be associated with the a world path of facing obstacles and getting over them?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 17, 2013 at 12:02 AM (Answer #1)

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I certainly think that the idea of a "world path" or a universality in which individuals face obstacles and overcome them is a part of Welty's message in the short story.  The example of Phoenix Jackson becomes a universal symbol, one in which individuals can find themselves capable of overcoming overwhelming odds in the commitment to another person or a goal larger than themselves.  Phoenix does not make this journey for herself.  She does not make through the challenging and worn path for money.  She does so because her grandson needs medicine.  It is here where the world path or larger view of the worn path is one in which individuals understand the need to make sacrifices to keep an eye on the social maintenance of an order larger than themselves.  I think that this might be where "a worn path" is akin to a "world path" or a manner of functioning in the world where the individual sees something larger than themselves at stake and does not capitulate until that goal is reached.  Phoenix Jackson, this elderly woman of color, becomes a symbol for this to all.

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