At a Glance
"A Worn Path" key characters:
- In "A Worn Path," elderly African American woman Phoenix Jackson endures poverty and racism, but a deep and abiding love for her grandson gives her life meaning.
- Phoenix’s grandson, a little boy whose injuries have never healed after he drank lye, is her only relative. “We is the only two left in the world,” Phoenix says.
- Through her efforts to relieve her grandson’s suffering and to bring him joy, Phoenix illustrates love, courage, compassion, sacrifice, dignity, and the strength of the human spirit.
- The young hunter Phoenix encounters on her way to Natchez treats her with condescension and attempts to frighten her, unaware of her mission and the strength of her character.
- An attendant and the nurse at the medical clinic in Natchez demonstrate the racism and lack of respect afforded to Phoenix by society because she is old, poor, and African American.