What would be a good topic that I can write an essay to compare/contrast the story "A Worn Path" and "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"?

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hadley818 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both stories are about the journey of an elderly woman. Phoenix Jackson takes a physical journey while Granny Weatherall takes a mental journey into her past and her regrets.

There are many comparisons between the two women. Both women are treated in a condescending manner. Phoenix Jackson is taunted by the white hunter in the woods and patronized by the women in town. Granny Weatherall is treated like a child by Dr. Harry and her children. Both women are survivors. Phoenix has survived the rough terrain of her journey and racial discrimination, among other things. Granny Weatherall survived being left at the altar by George, losing her husband John, and raising her children by herself.

Both women have likable and unlikable characteristics, and other characters don't have much patience for them. Both women have lived a difficult life and it seems like they worked so hard because they loved their families.

The stories have different writing styles. "A Worn Path" is more straight-forward and linear while Katharine Anne Porter uses stream-of-consciousness technique to delve into Granny's mind. You can explore the characters of Granny and Phoenix--they are similar in the fact that they are survivors but they do have different personalities. How do they treat their children? Think about the relationship Granny has with Cornelia compared to how Phoenix views her grandson. Also, what is real and what is fantasy in both stories. How reliable are the narrators? Can Granny, a dying woman, be trusted to have an accurate memory? Is Phoenix's grandson really alive at home waiting for her, or did he die years ago. This is a great topic for a paper with many possibilities to explore.