“A Worn Path," by Eudora Welty.
How does the first paragraph set the scene for the rest of the story? How does it foreshadow the events that will take place later on?
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In the first paragraph, the setting is described as December, and "a bright frozen day in the early morning" and this depicts contrasting images of brightness and cold. It is not a harsh morning, it is a bright one. This foreshadows the coming of reality, because eventually Phoenix will engage in a journey that results in only spiritual knowledge.
Phoenix carries and umbrella, tapping it on the ground before her.
This made a grave and persistent noise in the still air, that seemed meditative like the chirping of a solitary little bird.
This image also foreshadows the ending by telling us that she is in a "meditative state" and her journey is more in her head than physical.
Traditionally, a quest is a journey in which a knight overcomes a series of obstacles in order to perform a prescribed feat. In what way is Phoenix’s journey a quest? What obstacles does she face? What feat must she perform?
Because Phoenix is old, she has trouble seeing. What things does she have difficulty seeing? How do her mistakes shed light on her character? How do they contribute to the impact of the story?
A phoenix is a mythical bird that would live for five hundred years, be consumed by fire, and then rise from its own ashes. In what way is the name of this creature appropriate for the main character of this story?
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