Explain fully what can be learned about Phoenix from her trip in "A Worn Path."

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think as we examine this excellent story that what stands out in terms of Phoenix Jackson and her actions is the way that she sacrifices and endures so much for love. In a sense, the name Phoenix symbolises renewal and rebirth, and the journey for Phoenix Jackson is so important to her because every time she makes it her love for her grandson is renewed. The "worn path" of the title thus could be said to refer to a path of self-sacrifice that is inspired by love that Granny Weatherall takes, combatting and enduring, and finally overcoming, all obstacles thanks to her radical determination and stubborness. In spite of the many hardships she has faced during her life, she shows that she is able to overcome racism, lack of education and poverty to reach her goal--all for love:

Then Phoenix was like an old woman begging a dignified forgiveness for waking up frightened in the night. "I never did go to school, I was too old at the Surrrender," she said in a soft voice.

We see how Phoenix Jackson has had to struggle against so many things thanks to her background and the colour of her skin, and yet the momentous, one could almost say epic, journey that she completes every year shows how she is able to transcend her own personal difficulties and background to achieve her goals.