What would the story be like if we knew the details of the invalid son at the beginning of the story?
If we knew the details about the invalid grandson right at the start, the story would necessarily be different. The actual details of Phoenix’s journey might be the same, but the emphasis would focus on her mission rather on her frailty and character, which the present structure brings out to a high degree. Thus, her encounter with the hunter might be shown to be a threat to her grandson as well as to her. The same would apply to her falling in the ditch. Without such knowledge, Welty concentrates our attention exclusively on Phoenix until the story’s end.