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A worn path | Class 11 English notes

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A worn path Summary in Short

a worn path

A worn path | Class 11 English notes

‘A worn path’ by Eudora Welty is a story of an unconscious heroize of an old negro woman called phoenix Jackson. The story describes her adventures in her brave journey from her house to the town Natchez.

On December morning phoenix moves through the pine forest with the hope to bring medicine for her grandson from the town. She happens to encounter wild animals in hidden bushes. She drives them away pointing her cane at them. She arrives on the top of the hill and turns back to see from where she has come. She is not able to believe that she has covered a long distance in spite of her old age. Now, she climbs down through the oaks. But before she arrives at the foot of the hill, her two sides of skirts get caught in the bushes. Even at the foot of the hill, she has to cross a creek through a narrow log. She accomplishes such a tough job making a balance in her body. However, her imagination deceives her age. She sits under a large tree and imagines about a boy with a plate of cake in his hand. She moves ahead believing that her memory is gone. Now, she comes across a barbed wire fence, to which she crosses crawling like a baby. Standing on the other side of the fence, she begins to talk to a buzzard resting on the branch of the large tree. She gets into a dens cornfield after passing through the cotton field. Mid while, she happens to see something black dancing in front of her at first, she imagines it to be a ghost. Later, she finds it to be a scarecrow and gets very much delighted. Feeling proud of herself, she moves ahead but encounters with a hound. It causes her to fall into a ditch. Where she keeps lying upside down like a Junebug. Later, she is taken out by hunter to request her to move back to her house. However, she moves ahead stealing a coin of the hunter and happens to see a large board of Natchez shining in front of her. The children playing in a new dress reminds her of Christmas day.

Phoenix passes through the well-decorated town and arrives at the hospital. However, she forgets why she has made this trip. A nurse goes her asking her questions, but she remains silent and unmovable. Later, she remembers everything and ask rescue with them with medicine and some money. She comes out of the hospital and comes home. She buys a paper windmill as a gift for her grandson.

1) Write a paragraph describing phoenix Jackson.

Answer: Phoenix, an old woman, lives away from town with her grandson suffering from throat problems. As the grandson is the last one left in the family, she has a love for him. She wears a long dress reaching up to her shoe top. Her head is tied with a red rag from which her curly hair falls on her back neck. Similarly, she carries a cane with her. Which she has made out of an old umbrella. She walks like a pendulum of a wall clock. Dragging her unlaced shoes. And it looks as if she will fall down stepping on them. In fact, her eyes are blue with age. Likewise, her skin has a pattern of numberless wrinkles like a whole tree has stood in the middle of her face. Despite all this, she is a thoroughly courageous women who determine to go to town facing a lot of adults in order to bring medicine for her grandson.

2) In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix was a bird of great splendor that every 500 years consumed itself by fire and rose renewed from its ashes. In what way is phoenix Jackson like a bird?

Answer: Phoenix Jackson, the central character, is similar to the mythical bird because of her activities and bravery shown by her. First, she lives with her grandson and about them, nobody knows anything at all. Like the old woman, the bird used to exist in mythical forest of which, nobody knew anything at all. Similarly, if phoenix Jackson in the story stands for bravery. Likewise, the long journey undertaken by Phoenix Jackson, the old woman of above 100 years is definitely the renewal of her life. In fact, a woman above 100 years cannot be expected to undertake such a long and difficult journey alone. The old women are able to accomplish such a tough job which is very much similar to the bird having a renewal of life with energy and freshness in it.

3) What significance can be attached the journey takes place at Christmas time?

Answer:  The old woman called phoenix Jackson to undertake her brave journey at Christmas time, she knows nothing about it in till she comes across a hunter on the way to the town. Even the hunters think of supporting her giving some money in the forest but meanwhile, he is without it. After she reaches the hospital she is supported by both nurse and receptionist giving medicine and money as well. In fact, it clarifies that the essence or principle of Christianity lies in charity, help and love for each other. It tries to teach the message that humans can survive only in terms of love and support. The meaning of life is of no value if it lacks these constitutes of life.

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