What is the major theme for this story?Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A major theme of Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is Resurrection and Endurance. 

With the mythical name that conjures rebirth and continuance of life, Phoenix Jackson travels repeatedly the path from her home "back off the Old Natchez Trace" to Natchez in order to procure medicine for her ailing grandson.  Despite her age, Phoenix is able to plod along with her cane, undeterred by the maze of a field of dead corn that erases the path.  When she encounters a dog, she falls as she strikes it with her cane and rolls onto her back.  But, like the mythical creature, she rises.  And, despite the hunter's attempt to deter her from going to Natchez, Phoenix, with her golden color that runs beneath her red rang which suggest the mythical fire, rises to an upright position, procures a nickel from the unsuspecting hunter and continues on her journey until she arrives at the clinic where she obtains that which she has sought:  medicine for her grandson.

There are, of course, other themes such as Duty and Responsibility as Phoenix risks much to procure her grandson's medicine, as well as a minor theme of Guilt and Innocence with the hunter as representative of a stereotype and the grandson as the innocent. 

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A Worn Path

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