Eudora Welty's story reminds me a lot of some of William Faulkner's work. Both of these Southern writers created characters who occupy the lowest rungs in their society, yet demonstrate the greatest kind of courage and humanity. The mother and two brothers in Faulkner's story, "Two Soldiers," are these kind of Southerners, and Phoenix is another.
Phoenix is old, poor, female, and black--making her the least influential or valued in her society. As the story develops, however, Phoenix's courage, determination, unselfishness, and depth of love and devotion are revealed. In writing a character analysis of Phoenix, you might consider the pure humanity found in this seemingly unlikely heroine. Phoenix embodies the very best in the human spirit.