Posted: July 30th, 2023

A worn path analysis questions

1. In the opening sentence of “A Worn Path,” the narrator describes Phoenix Jackson as “an old Negro woman.” Later the hunter calls her “Granny,” and the nurse refers to her as “Aunt Phoenix”. Examine the way Phoenix Jackson is referred to throughout the story. How do they contrast with the symbolic name of her actual name? What hidden message is embedded in the text? 

2. Phoenix Jackson lives in the Mississippi countryside near the old Natchez Trace. She knows the world of nature and feels at home in it. The town of Natchez, however, has Christmas lights turned on in the daytime, and the lady who ties Phoenix’s shoe wears perfume that smells like “the red roses in hot summer.” How does Welty contrast the natural wisdom of Phoenix with the artifice of the town? 

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