Read Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path.”
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This page also contains a number of helpful resources to better understand the storyline and the historical context, particularly important if you choose to write your essay on this story. You may need to be logged into Atlas in order to access all the resources here, or it may need to ask you to log in. In that case, you should use the same login and password that you use for Atlas.
The story was originally posted in 1941 in “The Atlantic.”
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Answer one question.
Offer an in-depth response to two of your classmates’ answers.
No credit given for partially completed work, which is less than three posts.
This short story can be analyzed through three perspectives that are now familiar to you. It raises questions of race and class and gender. There are a couple details that you could psychoanalyze if you wish, too.
1. How does the first paragraph foreshadow the events that will take place later on in the story? What expectations does it create? What expectations, if any, does it violate?
2. In what way does the name of the protagonist reflect her personality?
3. Why does Phoenix Jackson have no qualms about stealing a nickel or taking charity from the doctor?
4. How do various people that encounter Phoenix Jackson react to her? How do they treat her? Is there any discrepancy between the way they perceive her and the way they talk to her? What are their reasons for treating her one way or the other?
5. Phoenix Jackson admits having no education. Does she nonetheless possess any knowledge that the other characters may lack?
6. What is the purpose of the protagonist’s journey? Is it a real or an imaginary reason? Explain.
7. In what ways is Phoenix Jackson’s journey like a medieval quest. You should be able to identify more than one parallel.
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