What role does the setting play in “A Worn Path"?

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The setting of the story—and everything that Phoenix Jackson must go through in order to procure the soothing medicine for her grandson's chemically-burned throat— seems to raise her journey through the forest and fields and city to the level of quest, an archetypal quest that a hero might make. Phoenix is the only person her grandson has to care for him, and she is the only person who can go and get the medicine. Her quest for the medicine has many elements of the archetypal hero's journey: Phoenix meets a monstrous man in the shape of the hunter who points his gun straight at her to frighten her, she crosses a body of water (when she closes her eyes and walks across...

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