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A Worn Path

Essay by review  •  February 24, 2011  •  Essay  •  897 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,036 Views

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A Worn Path

The story "A Worn Path" is about an elderly black women, whom makes a journey to a far away town to get medication for her grandson's illness. The story is very well written, I really enjoyed reading, I found it very interesting and I found myself trying to figure out certain symbols and their meanings throughout the story, like when she was walking through the ghost town and her dream about the boy handing her the piece of cake and then there is nothing there. This women had a drive to get where she was going and in real life anyone of her old age could overcome such obstacles as long as they too have a positive belief in their capabilities, and are as young at heart as Phoenix.

After the story was said and done that seemed like a terribly long walk for this old women. Most people would have found it to be a little unrealistic, but she is very young at heart, and that kind of attitude makes someone her age a lot less limited to their capabilities. First of all with a elderly women of her age (I'd guess like 85-90 years old) you'd think it would be impossible for her to make that walk. But after taking Gerontology last semester, which is the study of aging. I have come to realize that when it comes to getting old the elders you see still in their gardens, still going for walks, still playing those games of bingo, and still playing in the yard with their grandchildren all have one thing in common, they have a positive attitude. These elders believe that there is more to life than sitting in their houses and rotting away till their last breath. People like Phoenix are going to enjoy their life, and get the most out of it until their last breath. Phoenix Jackson is described as a worn old African American women. "Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color ran underneath, and the two dark knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark." This detail gives me such an accurate image in my mind of Phoenix. Her wrinkles represent the years of wear from the elements, and the experiences she has endured in her long lifetime. Her face is still lit up from the sun, giving her a live yellow glow, as if she is timeless. I really felt bad when the old women was walking without her shoes being tied. I wanted so badly to be there on the dirt road with her so I could tie her shoe laces for her.

There was a lot of symbolism in this story, it really had me thinking and wondering why and what does that mean. Such an example is the quote; "Down in the hollow was the mourning dove-it was not too late for him." What does that mean? Could that symbolize the death of her sick grandson, or that he will survive



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