We are all faced with trails and tribulations but we will eventually reach our goals if we have faith. Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path uses Phoenix Jackson’s often traveled trek to Natchez to symbolize the journey through life, by using an ancient bind to describe Phoenix. The spiritual aspects and emotional aspects of Phoenix’s life are also portrayed by the different trails she must endure before reaching her goal in life. The name Phonix itself portrays an unending fellowship. Phoenix is a universal symbol of resurrection and immortality.
It sets fire to itself by choice only to arise again as a New Phoenix. In route to the city both travelers stop ceremonially for restoration. The Phoenix burns itself by choice and rises again. Old Phoenix stops on her journey to rest, after doing so she appears to be showered with youth. “Phoenix left the tree, and had to go through a barb wire fence. There she had to creep and crawl, spreading her knees and strecthing her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps. ” Wetly relates Phoenix to the bind many times in the story directly and indirectly.
She was also described as a “solitary bind. ” Phoenix’s age and color also symbolizes the bind, a golden color ram underneath and the two knobs of her cheek were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark. Her hair was a black but with an ordor like copper. Phoenix may also be portrayed as a mother bird going out to get nurturing for her baby. The reader may visualize her grandson ad a bird in the nest for his mother. He wears a little patch quilt and peeps out, holding his mouth open like a bird.
Phoenix’s death portarys her undying love for her grandson. On Phoenix’s journey through life, she encountered spirited aspects that have an impact on her life, “References to Christ are abundant, such as when Phoenix has an illusion of a boy giving her cake symbolizing communion. There are images of crossing the Red Sea when Phoenix must go through the field of corn. Phoenix visualizes the River of Jordan and the city of Heaven, when she gets to the city and sees all the green and red flashing lights.
Awaiting her is the angel who ties her shoes. The hunter that Old Phoenix encounters drops a nickel a bird flies by and and Phoenix knew that God had been watching over her the entire time while making her journey. Hence, when she crosses the creek on a log safely portraying that God carried her through this trail. Phoenix spirit miraculously renews her old body each time ahe gors on the journey to Natchez enabling her to conquer all trails and tribulations she must endure to get medicine for her grandson.
Welty correlates Christmas “the birh of Christ” and “Easter the resurrection of Christ” therefore portraying a celebration of life after death. This signifies Phoenix determination to get to Natchez to get her grandson soothing medicine for his throat. Moreover, she says that a black dog was only an obstacle. “Old Woman,” she said to herself, “that black dog come up out of the weeds to stall you off, and now there he sitting on his fine tail smiling at you.
Although Phoenix appears to be walking in the death on her path when she encounters the scare crow, black dog and the hunter she survives spendidly appearing to be immortal. Phoenix journey to Natchez also plagues her emotionally. Her long journey shows that all her struggles, all her fears even her petty theft of a nickel from a hunter were endured because of of the love she had for her grandson which would cause rejuvenation at the end of her journey.
In the story, Welty describes Phoenix as having a thick tear in her eye when she boldly tells the hunter she is bound to go on journey. Her unrelenting love for her grandson is the motivation she needs to go to town to get medicine for his throat. She would rather sacrifice her life to her grandson to have life after she is gone. Life is a journey we all must go through to have lived. Like Phoenix, we have no way of knowing what obstacles we may encounter but through it all we must not forget our main purpose of living.