What does the reader learn about Phoenix through the ways that the author develops her character in the story "A Worn Path"?

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Welty uses a balance of direct and indirect characterization to develop the character of Phoenix. In the second paragraph of the story, Welty provides specific details of Phoenix's appearance and age, describing everything from her eyes to her shoes. We learn more about Phoenix's personality through the indirect characterization. We see further development of her age when she speaks with a ghost who isn't really there. We see her struggle with the difficulties of the path, but pushing onward. Most importantly, we realize at the end that this is a journey Phoenix makes regularly for her grandson. These details speak to the perseverance of Phoenix, as well as the depth of love she has for her grandson. When the attendant offers Phoenix pennies, she takes them without proud, but without shame as well. She knows the reality of her situation, and is doing what she can to make it through. Welty develops a strong woman who is determined to care for her loved ones.

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