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Is there any other Christian symbolism in "A Worn Path", other than Christmas and...

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mama-t | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 9, 2012 at 3:45 AM via web

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Is there any other Christian symbolism in "A Worn Path", other than Christmas and resurrection?

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

Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM (Answer #1)

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The fact that the path upon which Phoenix walks is filled with threats and thorns is reminiscent of Christian symbolism, akin to the path that Christ himself must walk.  The thorns are especially significant.  It is also clear that Phoenix struggles with eyesight, tapping the ground to ensure that her path is clear.  This is reminiscent of Jesus' curing the blind in order for them to see.  The Christ image is clear when the she says to the thorns that they are doing "their appointed work."  This is enhanced even more with the idea of Phoenix's personal sacrifice for something larger.  She sacrifices herself for the sake and love of her grandson, reflective of the Christian notion of love and sacrifice for something larger than ourselves.  This is reinforced when Phoenix comments that God "watching me the whole time."  She is like Christ on her journey, when she emerges out of the forest and asks the lady to tie her shoe.  Even the mere name "Phoenix" contains a Christian element to it.  The idea of the creature "rising" is akin to the resurrection of Jesus, rising over the world of the living into the transcendental notion of the good.  In these examples, one can see the Christian symbolism outside of Christmas, in the short story.

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