In "A Worn Path," how might Phoenix be considered to be in the grip of large and indifferent social and political forces?

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Whether Phoenix would have been treated much differently at the clinic if she were not an African-American (Negro, at that time) is dubious.  Obviously, she is not rejected by this clinic which she could have been in the time setting of this story, the depression. (The story was published in 1941--long before Civil Rights Legislation.) So, it would seem that the insensitivity comes not  from Phoenix's race as from the fact that the nurse mentions, she is "a charity case." After all, anyone in America knows that if a person does not have good insurance, he or she will wait behind those who do, even in emergency rooms.

Typically, in America all places of business are reluctant to serve people who have no money.  Hospitals and clinics are no exception, other than the fact that there are certain prohibitions to their rejecting people entirely.  Therefore, the treatment of Phoenix...

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