It has been given the same name as the striking suspension bridge which Wise installed on his path at this point. On the old path, well-heeled visitors were tortured by local mischief- makers, who would wait until they had stepped onto the bridge before jumping up and down to shake it!
The Trace extends from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, and it has played a role in American history for thousands of years. In addition to being a hunting and trading route, the Trace was an avenue for the slave trade, providing a path to channel slaves from other parts of the country to the Forks in the Road slave market.
The descriptions of the Trace in the story are pretty extensive, and the atmosphere is variously portrayed as beautiful, enchanting, dangerous, and grueling.
This gives a very strong sense of place, intimately linking Phoenix to the Trace and the history it has seen. Natchez Natcheznamed for the Native American tribe who lived in the area, brags about being the oldest city on the Mississippi River and is located about ninety miles from the state capital of Jackson.
Natchez also has a long history of tumultuous race relations, slave revolts, and racial violence, the vestiges of which are evident in the hardships and disempowerment Phoenix continues to face in the story.
That said, the city operates like a mecca for Phoenix. When she first spots Natchez from the path, bells ring and the city shines. If the story had a soundtrack, this is where the trumpets would be blaring. There is a sense of solemnity, too, when Phoenix mounts the "tower of steps" 66 up to the clinic, which is adorned with a very important document stamped and framed in gold.
In these ways, the city is a place of reverence and awe. At the same time, though, Natchez is also a place where Phoenix is extremely uncomfortable and clearly an outsider. She has to alter her physical appearance by requesting that her shoes be laced, a seemingly small adjustment but nevertheless an indication that her identity must be stifled or changed to enter the city.
She is also stricken silent for more on the significance of her losing her voice, check out the "Point of View" sectionand is no longer the confident and capable woman we see on the path.
Instead she "becomes like an old woman begging a dignified forgiveness" 87 for her age and her lack of education. Metaphoricallythis conveys that in order for her family to survive, Phoenix must accept alienation.
Again we are reminded how unfriendly this time and place is to a poor black woman. Christmastime The first line of the story tells us it is December, but there is no mention of Christmas until Phoenix gets to the city and the text announces, "In the paved city it was Christmas time" Literary critics love to compare questing heroes to Christ.
Like Christ, these heroes wander long and far, they are tested, they make tremendous personal sacrifices, and they often save people who depend upon them. While Phoenix may seem a strange figure to lump in with Christ-like heroes, she does have all these qualities.
What better way to highlight those aspects of her character than to set her story around the celebrated time of the birth of Christ? Bonus similarity between Phoenix Jackson and Christ: Christ is known for his resurrectiona. In the "Characters" sectionwe talk about how the mythological creature for which Phoenix is named also bucks death, rising to new life from its own ashes.
Phoenix is clearly set apart from the mainstream and commercial aspects of Christmas. The hunter is the one to bring up Santa Claus, for instance, and decorations and gifts only come up when Phoenix arrives in the city.Tickets please.
The old path at The Gobbins was a fee-paying visitor attraction. Ticket collectors, like retired railwayman Sam Cuthbert, sat before Wise's Eye . The A Worn Path Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.
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There is SO much value in getting off the beaten path in Prague. We lived in Prague for two years, on and off, and would live there for two more without any hesitation. It is a gorgeous city with impressive architecture, laid-back locals, and troves of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered.
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"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path", is a heartfelt short story that touches the soul. The main character, Phoenix Jackson, is elderly black woman who must trek from her home across the countryside and return with medicine for her ailing grandson.