What are the first three obstacles Phoenix Jackson encounters in "A Worn Path"?

The first three tangible obstacles Phoenix Jackson encounters in "A Worn Path" are thorns, a log which crosses a creek, and a barbed-wire fence. Her age and economic status are more indirect obstacles that also make this journey difficult for Phoenix.

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On her long, arduous journey in “A Worn Path,” Phoenix Jackson initially confronts three natural obstacles that are part of the story’s physical landscape. These three objects—a hill, a thorn bush, and a creek to cross by traversing a log—also reflect the landscape of her life; they represent obstacles constructed by white society for an elderly Black woman during the Great Depression in the South.

The first obstacle that Phoenix Jackson encounters as she trudges along a path is a hill.

The path ran up a hill. "Seem like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far," she said, in the voice of argument old people keep to use with themselves. "Something always take a hold of me on this hill—pleads I should stay."

Her physical climb mirrors the uphill battles she has fought throughout her life and still faces today. For example, she never had a chance to obtain an education. By the time the Civil War ended with the “Surrender” at Appomattox, she was too old to attend...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1422 words.)

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