Phoenix Symbolism In A Worn Path

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Sunlight streamed from the feathers of the phoenix (phoinix) as it flew to Heliopolis, the Egyptian City of the Sun. This majestic bird lives immortal life as every five hundred years, the wise creature sheds its incandescent red and gold plumage in a burst of flames to be reborn “in an egg of myrrh” (Atsma) within the Great Egyptian Temple of the Sun. The phoenix symbolizes hope, honor, and hails of refuge. Phoenix Jackson, in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”, hold these qualities dear and near to her heart as her journey along “A Worn Path” stems from “the deep-grained habit of love.” (Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson’s Grandson Really Dead?, 221) The phoenix’s, in the realm of mythologies such as the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, and Chinese, among others, description paints an image of a large bird or scarlet or gold feathers (Atsma), just as Welty describes Phoenix Jackson, hair “tied in red rag…a golden color” running beneath her skin and “a yellow burning” lighting up “the dark” of her cheeks (Welty, 213). The parallels between the bird of legends and the frail old woman walking a journey better left to the young, go beyond just a shared name.…show more content…
She makes the journey steadily and without fail, just as every 500 years near the end of the phoenix’s life cycle, he flies to City of the Sun to be reborn. This pilgrimage awakens her as “at last there came a flicker and a flame” (219) passed over the woman. The flame that lights the fire in her mind sparks her rebirth. This moment, where she saves the only person she has left, resurrects her, just as the phoenix climbs out of the ashes. Phoenix Jackson lives to protect that which she desires most. The phoenix’s only job throughout all of history and mythology and legend is to protect those who deserve it

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