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A Determined Path

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A Determined Path

In Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path", Welty tells a story of determination and perseverance. The tale of an elderly black woman and her journey through the woods shows how having a strong will can provide the strength to overcome many obstacles.

I think I could learn a lot from Phoenix Jackson, she never lets her circumstances or impairments get in her way of what needs to be done. How does this type of story relate to the present day? Phoenix makes the same trip through the Natchez Trace to get her grandson for his throat, traveling miles through the woods even though she may well be over 100 years old. She shows utter determination to provide what is needed for her family.

I can relate to this, especially right now. We got word last week that my husband's job is closing. He has worked at International Paper for the last three years, and now they are closing the doors. But the main reason this story resonated with me is because this the second time in 4 years that we have been through this situation. We both worked at Delphi when they closed the doors back in 2009, and yet we kept on going, finding other work. Like the phoenix, we rose from the ashes of our way of life and found ways to adjust to the new circumstances.

Phoenix went through many trials on her way to get medicine for her grandson. "Something always takes a hold of me on this hill..." (240). We made it up the hill, he finally found another job, only to be held up by the thorns at the bottom of the hill. Phoenix doesn't give up, she frees herself and realizes she has to keep going, her grandson is depending on her.

My husband kept going, kept working to provide for his family. He worked some pretty crazy shifts, had a lot of sleepless nights and days, but he was determined that we would make it. We could have taken the easy way out when the plant closed. We could have moved away, followed the job. We could have taken that slice of marble cake down by the stream and stayed there. But like old Phoenix, we knew that there was easier going up ahead.

When she gets to the shaded road, she lets her mind wander. She knows she has made it to "the easy going" (241). But as she went deeper between the banks, she is surprised by a big dog and it causes her to tumble down the ditch. There she lays, in shock and drifting, much as my husband and I did when we got the news of the second plant closing. No one appeared to help us out of the ditch.

"A white man finally came along and found her... (242). Her savior had arrived. A young, white, hunter came by and saw her down there. I like how it's someone her complete opposite, young and white, somehow better and wiser than old Phoenix. He tells her to turn back, town is too far "Now you go on back home, Granny!" (242). He knows better than she. But Phoenix is determined, she knows she has



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