I need to support my idea about "A Worn Path." I think the grandson in the story is dead. I need support for this supposition.
I have three reasons to believe that: first because I believe after the grandson drank that product he couldn't live for long, also Phoenix looked like nobody helped to tie her shoes. If the grandson were alive, he could help her and also who can leave his or her child along for a very long day with that kind of condition?
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What an intriguing idea! While there does seem to be an argument for your interpretation, perhaps some other circumstances may prove a stronger argument than the fact that Phoenix's shoe is untied. (Remember that the boy is wrapped in a blanket and lies helplessly.) Also, Phoenix has to leave the boy in order to get medicine; there is no one else, and she has done this repeatedly. Here are some other supporting details that you may want to use for the contention that the grandson is dead:
1. On her way to the clinic, after traversing a stream, Phoenix imagines a boy bringing a piece of cake, but opens her eyes to find her hand in the air, grasping nothing.
2. As she struggles along, she imagines that she has met a ghost, but it is merely a scarecrow.
The illusions of the boy and a ghost suggest that the boy may be dead and Phoenix imagines him as she wrestles with her desire to believe that he is yet alive.
3. When Phoenix reaches the hospital the nurse mentions that the grandson's condition has existed for "two-three years." The nurse replies to Phoenix's request for medicine,
"All right. The doctor said as long as you came to get it, you could have it....but it's an obstinate case." [this can mean just what it says and Phoenix continues to come to the clinic, or it can mean that as long as Phoenix comes they will give her medicine because she is "an obstinate case" in her refusal to believe that her grandson has died.
4. Phoenix herself expresses her rue over his loss:
'We is the only two left in the world. He suffer and it don't seem to put him back at all. He go a sweet look. He wear a little patch quilt and peep out holding his mouth open like a little bird. I remembers so plain now I not going to forget him again, no, the whole enduring times. I could tell him from all the others in creation.'
The denotations of these words are subject to different interpretations. Phoenix may remember how the grandson looks as ahe leaves him. Wrapped in a quilt, he may not have been able to tie Phoenix's shoes, but he also may have been dead with his "mouth open." Phoenix may be referring to her forgetfulness, or she may be speaking of not forgetting him for eternity--"for the 'enduring times" with the implication of telling "him from all the others in creation" after she herself dies.
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