Beside the major theme of the story "A Worn Path," by Eudora Welty, what other themes are expressed?I suppose there is a major theme expressed by the author in the story "A Worn Path."  Can you...

Beside the major theme of the story "A Worn Path," by Eudora Welty, what other themes are expressed?

I suppose there is a major theme expressed by the author in the story "A Worn Path."  Can you help me find other themes in this story besides the major one?

Asked on by sweetdady

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Well, you need to remember that what each person can draw from a particular piece of fiction is going to vary, so you might want to place this on the discussion board for this group to gain a wide range of possible views concerning this question. However, to me, the main theme emerging from this story concerns the nature of the worn path, which appears to be the path of love that is open to everyone. Just as Phoenix goes on her journey for love, so others are able to metaphorically follow in her footsteps.

If you are thinking about other themes, one that is well worth considering is the theme of resurrection. It is notable that Phoenix is named after the bird of fire from mythology that burned up but then was able to rise from its own ashes. It is clear that Phoenix is presented as an old woman, and yet she stubbornly keeps on coming into town, metaphorically rising up to make this ritual journey on behalf of her grandson. Note what the nurse says:

"She doesn't come for herself - she has a little grandson. She makes these trips just as regular as clockwork. She lives away back off the Old Natchez Trace."

Thus each separate journey could be said to represent a metaphorical rising up of the phoenix. Linked to this image, consider the way she is described at the start of the tale and the images of warmth and redness: she has a "golden colour" running beneath her skin and her cheeks are "illumined by a yellow burning." Lastly her hair has an odour "like copper." Phoenix Jackson is shown to resemble the phoenix that she is named after in her inexorable resilience and determination to make the journey on the worn path each time and through the warmth of human love and kindness that bursts out of her.

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