Discuss the character of Phoenix Jackson from "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty.

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The Phoenix in Greek mythology is a bird-like creature that matures to an extreme age before it bursts into flames and is reborn from the ashes. As it matures and ages, its beauty and colors of red and gold intensify.  The Phoenix always rises up again with its main characteristic of determination.  Cleverly, Eudora Welty’s Phoenix Jackson, the protagonist in “A Worn Path,” parallels the mythological bird in description and actions.  She is an unforgettable character.

Described by the author as elderly and small, Phoenix measures her steps carefully as she travels through the woods to complete her mission. She carries an umbrella as a cane and to ward off any creatures that might be in her path. Her black face is so wrinkled that it seems to follow a specific pattern and an undercoating of a golden color.  Dressed in a neat and tidy fashion, her shoes are untied because she cannot tie them anymore.  This is a woman of subtle grandeur that few would look deep enough to see.


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