A Worn Path Characters at a Glance

"A Worn Path" key characters:

  • In "A Worn Path," elderly African-American woman Phoenix Jackson endures poverty and racism, but a deep and abiding love for her grandson gives her life meaning.
  • Phoenix’s grandson, a little boy whose injuries have never healed after he drank lye, is her only relative. “We is the only two left in the world,” Phoenix says.
  • Through her efforts to relieve her grandson’s suffering and to bring him joy, Phoenix illustrates love, courage, compassion, sacrifice, dignity, and the strength of the human spirit.
  • The young hunter Phoenix encounters on her way to Natchez treats her with condescension and attempts to frighten her, unaware of her mission and the strength of her character.
  • An attendant and the nurse at the medical clinic in Natchez demonstrate the racism and lack of respect afforded to Phoenix by society because she is old, poor, and African-American.


The Grandson
Phoenix's grandson does not appear in the story, but his medical condition is the reason for the old woman's...

(The entire section is 1041 words.)