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The theme of a short story called "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty


Paradoxx 1 / 1  
Dec 3, 2009   #1
Hey

Working on an essay for theme. I'm in 11th grade and this is a major chunk of our grade for the grading period, so I'm trying to get as good of a grade as possible...I'd appreciate any help! Although the essays not done, I'll update it when I finish more. The essay is on the theme of a short story called "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty. I know the first paragraph is kind of weak..working on making it better.

Up until June 25th, 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, up until this happened, African-Americans were not allowed to use any of the same public facilities as white's. Since then, society has made an enormous amount of progress to becoming racist free. In the short story by Eudora Welty "A Worn Path", the reader goes on a quest with Phoenix Jackson: to obtain medicine for her sick grandson. The path to town is a route she has taken many times. Throughout the story we observe the racism African-Americans endured during the Civil Rights movement, and the duties and responsibilities of an elderly woman.

Although the 1940's were the turning point for the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans were still scrutinized by whites routinely. During Phoenix's trip to get medicine, she gets knocked into a ditch by a dog, and can't get out by herself. Eventually a white hunter helps her out. Although the man helps her, he immediately makes it clear that he has prejudice thoughts towards African-Americans. The hunter asks Jackson where she is headed too, and she tells him that she's going to town. He retorts by saying "That's too far," and "I know you old colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa Claus!". In a second display of disrespect towards African-Americans, the hunter hoists his gun right in old Phoenix's face. "Doesn't the gun scare you?", he says. When she shows no fear towards the man or his gun, he puts it back down and says "you must be a hundred years old, and scared of nothing. I'd give you a dime if I had any money with me," not aware of the fact that she picked up a nickel that he dropped on the ground, showing that he was lying to her face. In their parting words, he tells her to take his advice and stay home, so that nothing happens to her.

While the only blatantly racist remark that the hunter makes is to call Phoenix "colored", he does make many subtle comments which shows his dislike of African-Americans. With the interaction between the two, we see what it was like for Afro-Americans after slavery was abolished. Even though the story takes place towards the end of the Civil Rights Movement, there is still resentment in the way the hunter speaks towards Phoenix. Through Phoenix Jackson, Welty shows the attitude of the average white American towards African-Americans, in the South during this time.

During life, humans endure numerous duties and responsibilities, and many sacrifices are made to fulfill them. Phoenix Jackson's grandson swallowed lye two or three years prior, and his throat hasn't healed. While the remedy temporarily treats his throat, it hasn't shown any signs of curing it. Phoenix is the only person her grandson has left, and she feels it's her duty and responsibility to attain his medicine, no matter how old she may be.

In the course of Jackson's trip, we see that nothing can stop her. During the mission, her feet ache from walking, she crosses a log that's above a river, and she falls into a ditch. Through Jackson, Welty shows that sometimes you have a responsibility and a feeling of duty , and you find yourself accomplishing feats you didn't know possible. If the future of a family member or friend is in danger, you feel it is your responsibility to help them no matter what the consequence to you is. Parents have this feeling with their kids, teachers with their students, and soldiers to their country. Every person in the world has a duty and responsibility that they strive to fulfill, and although it may not be easy, the reward is always much greater than the struggle.
christiek 6 / 65  
Dec 3, 2009   #2
Sorry but I think you posted this essay in the wrong forum...(Don't want to sound mean or bossy)
This section is for undergraduate admission essays for college.
I don't think I really have any authority to say this to you, but just wanted to give you a heads up : )
You might get a notice from the Essay Forum people...
Llamapoop123 7 / 442  
Dec 3, 2009   #3
Up until June 25th, 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which prohibited racial segregation.

^This is not a sentence.

we go on a quest

^"The author take us on a quest..."

The whole first paragraph is comprised of choppy statements.

What exactly is the essay question? Cause you may need more analysis in your body paragraphs rather than story telling.
DmitryK 2 / 10  
Dec 3, 2009   #4
Up until June 25th, 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which prohibited racial segregation...This is a sentence fragment. You're saying "Up until this happened.", when you should be saying "Up until this happened, the state of the discussed situation was x." . Since then, we (who? society? African-Americans?) have made an enormous amount of progress in becoming liberated (liberated from what?) . In the short story by Eudora Welty, "A Worn Path", we (again, clarify; in such context it is better to use "the reader") go with Phoenix Jackson on a quest to obtain medicine for her sick grandson. The path to town is a route she has taken many times. Throughout the story we observe the racism African-Americans endured during the Civil Rights movement, and the duties and responsibilities of an elderly woman.

Although the 1940's were the turning point for the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans were still scrutinized by whites routinely. During Phoenix's trip to get medicine, she gets knocked into a ditch by a dog, and can't get out by herself. Eventually a white hunter sees her and helps her. Although the man helps her, he immediately makes it clear that he has subjective (biased, prejudiced, or racist might be better terms) thoughts towards African-Americans. The hunter asks Jackson where she is headed too, and she tells him that she's going to town. He retorts by saying "That's too far," and "I know you old colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa Claus!". In a second display of showing disrespect towards African-Americans, the hunter hoists his gun right in old Phoenix's face. "Doesn't the gun scare you?", he says. When she shows no fear towards the man or his gun, he puts it back down and says "you must be a hundred years old, and scared of nothing. I'd give you a dime if I had any money with me," not aware of the fact that she picked up a nickel that he dropped on the ground, showing that he was lying to her face. In their parting words, he tells her to take his advice and stay home, so that nothing happens to her.

Not a bad essay by any means, but certainly a work in progress. I suggest analyzing the characters more thoroughly and exploring the rhetorical/stylistic choices Welty makes in the short story.
christiek 6 / 65  
Dec 3, 2009   #5
hahaha, i feel like a meanie without having helped you earlier... man oh man.

In the short story by Eudora Welty "A Worn Path"

^ In the short story by Eudora Welty "A Worn Path",

Eventually a white hunter sees her and helps her.

^ how about just "Eventually a white hunter helps her"

hmmm, there seems to be a lot of summary here.
what exactly is the prompt?
OP Paradoxx 1 / 1  
Dec 5, 2009   #6
Hey - Thanks for the help everybody. It really does help alot.

@christiek: It's supposed to be an essay on the theme of the story. I know it's summarizing alot, but isn't that what theme is? I'm kinda confused on this..never had an essay on theme before..

And I'm finishing the rest atm, so I'll post that probably tomorrow.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Dec 5, 2009   #7
Up until June 25th, 1941, when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, up until this happened, African-Americans were not allowed to use any of the same public facilities as white's.

- "Up until..." aint the best way to begin. But if you want: Up until June ... when FDR signed ..., African Americans were ... (don't use "not allowed", it's weak; rather use tough words like "refused", "denied", etc.)


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