ENG 125 Week 5 Final Paper,
The short stories “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty and “Used to Live Here “Once” by Jean Rhys. In both writings the authors used people, places and things to symbolize something extra, expanding the stories into more than just what is read. I chose these stories because they both consist of strong symbolic references to life. Each story was written in a third-person point of view and consisted of a journey made by the main characters, which in both cases happened to be a black woman. Although in one story the character was already dead and in the other, fighting death, there are many similarities between the stories told. Both carry the theme, symbolism of a journey made by the main characters, which in both cases happened to be a black woman. Although in one story the character was already dead and in the other, fighting death, there are many similarities between the stories told.
In A Worn Path, Phoenix Jackson is an elderly woman that encroaches on what appears to be a physically demanding trek through the forest. Already, the symbolism begins with the name of the woman. A phoenix is a mythical Egyptian bird symbolizing immortality and resurrection that rises from its own ashes and creates another phoenix (N. Isaacs, 1963), away, the reader is made aware that Phoenix’s character is a fighter. It becomes more apparent throughout the story symbolizing the perseverance of life.
The elderly women willpower was so strong she refuses to give in to death because she knew what she had to do so her grandson could live a long her journey, she reaches a hill and she says, “Something always take a hold of me on this hill– pleads I should stay,” (Journey Into Literature, R.W. Clugston, 2010). I believe it is suggested at this point that she questions her strength to press on, not only against the hill but also against death. Her decision to accept this challenge shows her strength and determination live on her journey, she at Her judgment to accept this challenge shows her power and willpower to live on.