A Token to Heaven

Amber A. Ray                                                                                                                                
Instructor Woods
English 102
16 October 2014

In ‘A Worn Path’ Phoenix Jackson an old Negro woman is set on a long determined journey to get her deceased grandson medication. Phoenix is borderline psychotic and her grandson drinks lye as a boy and passes away. Phoenix cannot seem to let go of her guilt. So she makes long trips from Natchez trace all the way to town ever so often to get the medicine for her grandson’s throat so she doesn’t forget about him again. At the doctor’s office the nurse knows old woman phoenix is poverty stricken so she gives her five cents. Phoenix then buys a paper wind mill as her forgiveness for her grandson’s death and a toll in to heaven. The old woman walks home because she knows death is near and her grandson will be waiting on the other side for his paper windmill. The phoenix representation In Welty’s ‘A Worn Path’ symbolizes how Egyptian’s packed their dead in gold and jewels for their crossing to the other side.

Phoenix Jackson is a small old Negro woman whom lives out in the woods alone. But she thinks she lives with her grandson. She leaves her home in Natchez trace to go to town in the cold. It just happens to be December when she decides to take a walk to town. She is going to fetch medicine for her grandson. Phoenix is wearing a red rag on her head and walking with an umbrella cane. Her eyes are turning blue with age and she can’t find her way much so she sways back and forth like a clock pendulum. As she walks in to town the sun hits her face and makes a golden hue reflecting the wrinkles on her face. Who phoenix is in the story is the main symbolism; from what she wears to the wrinkles on her face. Phoenix the bird is represented or symbolized in several cultures as gold and red. The umbrella cane represents the bird tapping or chirping. In most cultures for example Arabian,...