Posted in Short Stories

Eudora Welty: The Worn Path


A♥  A♥  A♥  A♥  A♥  A♥  A♥  A♥

Her name was Phoenix Jackson.  She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps, with the balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock.

It’s already the halfway point of Deal Me In 2015.  For Week 26, I drew the Ace of Hearts and read “The Worn Path”, the first story I’ve read by Eudora Welty.  My Deal Me In 2015 list can be seen here. Deal Me In 2015 is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

Phoenix Jackson, an elderly African-American woman, makes her way through the woods on a path that she obviously has walked before.  She runs into a hunter, keeps a stray dog at bay with her walking stick, crosses over a creek via a log and keeps an overall pleasant disposition.  The reader can almost see the twinkle in her eye and the smile on her face.

The reader isn’t given the reason for her walk or her destination until the end.  While this revelation does not make for a plot twist and knowing the ending or not knowing doesn’t necessarily make the story any different or less enjoyable; however, I won’t give away this part of the story and let readers find out for themselves.

Welty does not overtly tackle the topic of racism in this story but in every step Phoenix makes, the author puts strength and dignity to Phoenix’s character.  A strength and dignity that has come from the wearing down of this path, from a journey that is not always easy.


3 thoughts on “Eudora Welty: The Worn Path

  1. I have to say that I don’t enjoy what Eudora writes about so much as how she writes it. She has such a fluid way of expressing herself and she makes the Southern backdrop, the Mississippi life such a reality. Nice review!

    1. This story makes me want to read more of Welty’s work. I agree that she is very expressive even with something as tedious as a walk in the woods.

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