Why is the time motif significant to Welty's theme in A Worn Path?

Quick answer:

Welty's theme is the importance of the journey, regardless of time or obstacles.

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In Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," Phoenix Jackson makes a journey into town to get her grandson medicine. The motif of time is an important element in the story. Although Phoenix can make the trip into town in the course of a day, the sense Welty portrays is that it is an epic journey--one an old woman makes past many obstacles and is repeated every year. While Phoenix's age isn't specified, she is viewed as very old, possibly close to 100, and her time is running out when she will be able to make these trips into town. The fact that she climbs over logs and makes her way past hostile hunters at her age is remarkable. 

In addition, there is a sense of urgency to her journey. She must hurry to get her grandson's medicine and nothing can keep her from her mission. At one point, she looks up at the sun and says, "The time getting all gone here." She knows her time to get to the doctor's office is running out as is her life, hence her chances to make this journey. A theme in this story is the importance of the journey, of persevering, regardless of the obstacles or limits of time a person faces.  

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