Phoenix's Hardships And Racism In A Worn Path

878 words - 4 pages

“A Worn Path” tells of an elderly and frail black woman and of the hardships that she must overcome. Upon reading the story, you realize that there is more to the story than meets the eye. She faces many roadblocks along her way. Phoenix faces many dangerous obstacles along her way, for a person of her age. She faces racism from some of characters she meets along the way. Phoenix faces inferior treatment, as though she is nothing more than some insect to squash. This story is about not only her ‘journey’ to Natchez, but also about her journey through society and the struggle to overcome the dangers, being treated inferior, and the racism.
It’s December when Phoenix starts on her journey to Natchez and it is a journey she has taken many times before. This journey is no journey an elderly and weaken person should have to make by themselves, yet Phoenix does. She does not allow her age or her condition to keep her from it. Deep through the pines, the path takes her, and her first task would be to make it over a hill that seems to take all her energy and strength. “Seems like there is chains around my feet, time I get this far…” (Welty 5), here the reader can tell Phoenix does not have the strength that she really needs to make it up the hill. Yet somewhere she finds the will to keep pushing on and moving forward. This same type of spirit that allows Phoenix to keep pushing forward in society, and not to back down. Showing the younger generation that you have to fight your way through to a brighter day. It is later down the path that Phoenix comes to a creek and the only way to get across, is by walking on a log. Phoenix walks across this log with her eyes close. Once across she opens her eyes and says, “I wasn’t as old as I thought” (Welty 13). She even proves herself wrong. Yet it is when Phoenix crawls under the barbwire fence that it is the most dangerous task. She runs the risk of having that barbwire slash though her dress and cut her back to pieces. , if she was to get caught going under that fence, the consequences she faced could have been death. The obstacles on the path to Natchez were dangerous and Phoenix could have suffered serious injury. Any kind of injury suffered out in the open and alone like she was in the middle of the winter could...

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