Phoenix Jackson In Eudora Welty's A Worn Path

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Phoenix Jackson, a woman born a slave, now has her freedom and in her old age is going on a journey to get medicine for her grandson. Her grandson drank lye, a type of soap, which destroyed his throat. The medicine will not cure the problem but it will make it more bearable for the boy. He will inevitably die from it but that doesn’t deter Phoenix from going to get the medicine whenever he needs it. She loves her grandson so she is willing to travel a great distance for medicine that can only make his struggle not as painful. The character Phoenix Jackson in the story, “A Worn Path,” is a hero because she comes from mysterious origin, her way is beset with dangers, loneliness, and temptation, and her way is not always clear. One reason that Phoenix Jackson fits the description of a hero is because she comes from…show more content…
In her old age, she frequently forgets where she is and where she is going. She is finally at the doctor’s office where she needs to get the medicine, “With her hands on her knees, the old woman waited, silent, erect, and motionless, just as if she were in armor. ‘You mustn’t take up our time this way, Aunt Phoenix,’ the nurse said. ‘Tell us quickly about your grandson, and get it over. He isn’t dead, is her?’ At last there came a flicker and then a flame of comprehension across her face, and she spoke,” (53). In the end she still is forgetful and forgets the entire reason she had gone on this journey. This brings up the question of if she ever really knew why she was going on this journey and if the child was even alive. If the child isn’t alive then it is possible that she has forgotten that he had died and simply thinks he still is and is doing something she has done for years. This does still make her a hero as she is willing to continue onward even if she has no idea what she is going to do. Her forgetfulness makes her more of a hero than if she wasn’t
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