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What is the main theme of A Worn Pathis the theme implied?

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roberta022469 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM via web

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What is the main theme of A Worn Path

is the theme implied?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 3, 2010 at 2:42 PM (Answer #3)

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I think that the theme is that a good person (like Phoenix) will do her duty and fulfill her obligations no matter how hard it is to do so.  She really has a hard time getting to town, but she will do it because her grandson needs her -- she is all the family he has.

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roberta022469 | Student , Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM (Answer #2)

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How should these characters be characterized?

is pheonix, the nurse, the hunter, and the grandson static or dynamic?

what characterization methods are used to describe these characters, and what are each of these peoples motivation


what is the symbolic meaning of a worn path, what is the literal meaning and symbolic meaning of a journey

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dstuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2010 at 4:20 PM (Answer #4)

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The theme in this story is implied.  The story concerns an individual and others like her pitted against large and indifferent social and political forces.  Her journey, of course, represents her journey through life.  It's not that anyone is out to get her.  Nobody purposely makes her life difficult.  It's just that no one is really looking out for her, and things are stacked against her. 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 5, 2010 at 3:09 AM (Answer #5)

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Phoenix is the woman reborn--just like the mythical bird, a phoenix, dies and rises again in the ashes, the grandmother reinvents herself every time she has to make that trip.  She is strong enough to do the job although she doesn't appear to be.

The hunter represents prejudice and racism.  Take a look at his language in the story and it's not hard to see why.  Phoenix has dealt with his kind her entire life.

I wouldn't say any of these characters are dynamic except for Phoenix herself.  She is the only one who actually rises off the page to become real and palpable.  The others don't change, they are just there to move the story along.  Phoenix is three-dimensional and alive.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 22, 2010 at 5:37 PM (Answer #7)

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Along with the rebirth of the determination of the grandmother for her grandson's well-being, there is also the idea of Endurance in the Resurrection theme of Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path."  Phoenix faces the demeaning treatment of her time and time again--she has long been down those paths, as well--and she endures stoically and with purpose.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 11:46 AM (Answer #6)

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While I have not read A Worn Path by Eudora Welty, I do know that e-notes has some resources that would probably be quite helpful to you. Try checking out the following e-note link for more information.



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