A Worn Path Character Analysis

Words: 1978
Pages: 8

In her short story, “A Worn Path”, Eudora Welty demonstrates the power of strong love and courageousness. Main character Phoenix Jackson’s long strenuous journey to retrieve medicine for her ailing grandson is told in a third person point of view limited to Phoenix. This narrative technique creates an effect to the story that would not be possible through the eyes of Phoenix herself. Phoenix is very along in her years, and her mind is dwindling. She is subjected to many hallucinations and memory loss, which leaves her judgement clouded. Without the omnipresent narrator there to tell what is real and what is not, the reader can become lost and lose focus on the meaning of the story. Phoenix a lot of the time loses focus as well, and does not pay attention to small details that …show more content…
Third person limited narration builds Phoenix’s character, gives the perspective of watching events take place, and shows the true intentions of the minor characters.
The third person narrator shows admiration of Phoenix by the way they build her character and appearance. If Phoenix were to attempt to describe herself, the reader would not get her true qualities. A third person point of view gives Old Phoenix character traits that she could not give or see herself in first person. Her clouded mind would not be aware of the way she moves, with “balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock”, she would only know it as just her walk (para. 1). The comparison of Phoenix to a grandfather clock suggests the narrator sees her as continual and strong, always able to keep going despite the long passage of time like a clock. Her walk is not something Phoenix could observe on her own, describing it shows an admiration Phoenix is completely unaware of. She also would never care for the beauty within herself; her only focus is her grandson who needs her. The reader sees this