In "A Worn Path," how many children does Phoenix have and where did she grow up?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we look closely at the text, we can see that these are questions to which the text provides us with no answers. Nowhere does it state specifically how many children had, or where Phoenix did grow up. We are given little information about Phoenix herself. The only things we are told about her is that she lives "away back off the Old Natchez Trace," she received no education, and that, as Phoenix herself tells us, her sick grandson who suffers so greatly because he swallowed lye, is her only relative left in her life:

We is the only two left in the world. He suffer and it don't seem to put him back at all. He got a sweet look. He going to last.

So, we are left knowing little about the past of Phoenix and her own personal family history. The text doesn't even tell us if her children and husband are dead, or if they merely left her. We do know, however, that it is just her and her grandson left in her world, and that her grandson is the centre of this world for her.