In "A Worn Path," what do the following represent: eyes, barbed wire, the dress, withered cotton field, the scarecrow, trees silver in their dead leaves?

Expert Answers info

Sara Barnard eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write48 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Arts

Like many of her stories, Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” first published in 1941, is a portrayal of life and characters in the American South. It is a deeply symbolic story, describing the hardship of a difficult journey to talk about wider struggles. As with any use of symbolism, interpretation can differ depending on the reader, but if we take into account the connections between the plot, characters, and setting, and the symbols used to portray them, some meanings become clear.

Eyes as a symbol are often connected to vision, seeing, the future, and the idea of a deeper meaning. Here we learn that Phoenix’s eyesight is failing: "her eyes were blue with age," we discover at the start. The mention of her eyes is a way to show her age and frailty while also suggesting there are things to see underneath the surface, that there are ways to see beyond what is in front of our eyes. Phoenix, for example, uses memory as a way to see, working her way along the familiar tracks. Eyes as a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1,050 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

rdb919 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write176 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial