A Used Course by Eudora Welty

“A Used Course” composed by Eudora Welty, is set throughout a cold winter after the conclusion of the Civil War, in a rural location near Christmas time in the mid 1900’s. Phoenix, an older uneducated Negro female, who withstood bigotry, is the main character with small characters of a hunter, a dog, a nurse, a clerk and Phoenix’s grand son. Eudora Welty began developing the story in the first paragraph by choosing the name of the primary character– Phoenix. A phoenix is a mythological bird that supposedly lived over 500 years back and passed away in flames and rose again from the ashes.


My concept of what the author is conveying through numerous writing methods is that there are numerous barriers in life and one might conquer obstacles by decision, love, a strong personality and an assisting hand from others. The characters represent numerous elements of life. Phoenix needed to get rid of lots of barriers– cold weather, her age, a hunter with a weapon, thorns and hills.

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The challenges can be seen as lessons or chances to learn. The black pet dog which surprised Phoenix represents unforeseen “bumps in the road.” Another obstacle, Phoenix needed to conquer was her own internal stress over wild animals (snakes, coons, wild hogs, foxes, owls, and beetles) on her method to town. An external conflict was represented by the physical battles Phoenix withstood. A major challenge, Phoenix got rid of was to stroll across a log suspended over a creek, utilizing her walking cane to stabilize her weight.

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I consider this particular obstacle as a life altering event. Phoenix also understood she needed to look after her grandson due to the fact that she was the only person left. A reader might see the walk Phoenix frequently finished as Phoenix’s reason for being alive or as a renewal.

Assistance in life comes in many ways. The hunter and his dog helping Phoenix with a hand-up moved Phoenix forward on her journey. Life is like that – made easier with help from others. The author did a great job conveying these characteristics. The main character, Phoenix, represents a strong individual who overcame numerous obstacles. Phoenix was dedicated to helping her grandson and was determined to complete her task. The author, through creative descriptive words, revealed a multitude of personality characteristics within Phoenix. The main character was in control of her life as evidenced by her determination to stay on her journey even when the hunter tried to persuade Phoenix to return home. A reader could view the walk Phoenix regularly completed as Phoenix’s reason for being alive or as a rebirth.

Phoenix was on a mission! Eudora Welty was very effective with the writing techniques. The story was easy to understand, the language descriptive and was enjoyable to read. The descriptive language the author used made me feel as if I was there. I feel the author wrote the story from the third person omniscient (all knowing) narrator point of view. The author utilized the setting to represent obstacles. The setting is both physical and chronological. The author used great descriptive language to help create the story in the reader’s mind. The author, based on this particular story, perceives life as a struggle. Welty was successful in creating a story about values of love, compassion, dedication, determination and helping others.

Works Cited

  1. W, Susan. LLC’S. 2013. Definition. 2013. .

Thesis statement:

  1. Thesis from “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty:
    In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” Phoenix Jackson exhibits great love, determination, and devotion as she overcomes many challenges on her frequent yet terrifying trek to town in order to retrieve medicine for her grandson.

Cite this page

A Used Course by Eudora Welty. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-used-course-by-eudora-welty-essay

A Used Course by Eudora Welty

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