Discuss the characterization of Phoenix in the story "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Phoenix Jackson, the story's protagonist, is mostly shown through the use of indirect characterization, when the writer reveals the character's attributes through their behavior and speech. We must read between the lines or interpret their actions and words to figure out who and what they are like. This is in contrast to direct characterization, where the writer (or narrator) makes descriptive statements (with adjectives) about the character's personality. For example, the narrator does not say that Phoenix is loving, but we can gather from the fact that she is willing to make such a dangerous and arduous journey at her advanced age, just to procure medicine that will help her young grandson feel better, that she loves him very much. Her words, describing him, help to confirm this. The narrator does not tell us that Phoenix is brave, but we see her hold her ground when the hunter cruelly points a gun directly at her; she does not cower or beg. Early on in the story, the narrator describes...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1011 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on