Essays on A Worn Path

A Worn Path
Original title A Worn Path
Author Eudora Welty
Genre Biography
Language English
Published Atlantic Monthly, vol. 167, no. 2
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About A Worn Path

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty was first published in February in Atlantic Monthly magazine. It tells a story of a heroine, Phoenix Jackson, who journeyed through the forest of Mississippi to the town of Natchez. A Worn Path won an O. Henry Prize the same year it was published. It is also featured in Welty’s collection of stories titled The Wide Net. Since its publishing, A Worn Path has been a good material for an anthology and other related studies.

While the story looked simple and plain, it carried a lot of undertone and ambiguity, which made it attract several reviews from critics. Welty credited her inspiration to the event of an older woman who had tracked across the southern landscape in search of medicine for her grandson. While she journeyed, she encountered various trials that depicted what she faced back home.

A Worn Path Summary

To write a worn path essay, you must first analyze the story. The story starts on a cold December morning; Phoenix Jackson, a black older woman, moves on an isolated path and narrates the story as she moves. Journeying with her, we experience all that she does, the huge hills she has to climb, the deep forest and fields – all of these and more, testing her endurance and strength.

Although old, she tries to overcome every obstacle that comes her way. She also encounters animals and people as she moves into the different plains and woods; some of the things and people she saw were unreal. Her trip into the woods made her encounter a huge black dog which made her fall into a ditch, where a hunter rescued her.

The hunter helped her, and they began to talk. Then she realizes how much of a jerk the hunter is. He advises Phoenix to go back home, but she refuses. She continues in her adventure to get medicine for her sick grandson.

A Worn Path Characters

● Phoenix Jackson is a poor, aged Black woman whose profound love for her grandson is the only thing that matters to her. She walks into the forest in search of medicine for her grandson.

● Phoenix’s grandson – is a little boy whose wounds never healed after he drank poisonous lye. He is Phoenix’s only family.

● The hunter – Phoenix meets him on her way to Natchez and maltreats her at first.

● The nurse – she is the medical clinic nurse in Natchez who underrated Phoenix by regarding her as a “charity case.”

● The attendant – the impatient white attendant at the hospital. She is rude and disrespectful to Phoenix.

● The Woman on the Street – A woman Phoenix meets on the street who fastens Phoenix’s shoes diligently.

A Worn Path Quotes

“Phoenix Jackson… was very old and small, and she walked slowly in the … pine shadows. – Narrator

“Glad this, not the season for bulls…and the good Lord made his snakes curl up and sleep in the winter.” – Phoenix Jackson

“Why, that’s too far! That’s as far as I walk when I come out myself, and I get something for my trouble.” He patted the stuffed bag he carried and hung down a little closed claw. It was one of the bob-whites, with its beak hooked bitterly to show it was dead. “Now you go on home, Granny!” – Hunter

“He gave another laugh, filling the whole landscape. “I know you old colored people! Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Claus!” – Hunter

“I’d give you a dime if I had any money. But you take my advice and stay home, and nothing will happen to you.” – Hunter

Essay Structure on A Worn Path


The most crucial part of your essay on A Worn Path is your introduction. Here, the writers are given an insight into what you are writing about. You don’t only introduce your essay here; you should also present your thesis. The introduction should also clarify your argument and position on the book your essay is about.

To write a good introduction, you need to use sentences and phrases that are well constructed. Start with Phoenix’s reason for going on the journey, which is her love for her grandson, who is the only family she has left.

Avoid switching sides because you think you now have better points. When you have a good introductory paragraph, it will prompt you to the next phase – the body paragraph.

The Body Paragraphs

When you have chosen your argument and maintained your thesis, the next phase is the body paragraphs. A standard essay must have a minimum of three body paragraphs. It is advisable to start your body paragraph with a strong issue. You can decide to broaden your point on Phoenix’s experience on the adventure to seek healing for her grandson, the characters she meets on the way, and how they were of help to her mission.

Other paragraphs of your body paragraph can come from the book or other supporting points relevant to the topic and the story or book.


Your conclusion shouldn’t entirely be a wrap-up section of your essay. It should be a chance for you to ascertain your argument. Have your points solidified in the mind of your readers? In this section, you can remind the readers about Phoenix’s reasons for going on this adventure.

Let your conclusion remind your readers about your thesis, as mentioned above

Finally, your conclusion must remind your readers about the ethical lesson from the book.

Tips to Consider While Writing An Essay About A Worn Path

Read the book thoroughly

A proper essay can’t be written without studying the book. You need to study the story properly and write out your knowledge of the book. While analyzing the book, you should underline and pay attention to quotes, questions, and the text’s components that apply to your essay. This will assist you in writing a brilliant essay while you recognize the characters, the plots, the ethical lesson, and the incentive behind the book.

Also, you may find out through the communication among the characters how the author attempts to deter specific immorality and inspire virtues. You can’t find a compelling topic without studying the book thoroughly

Find a compelling topic

Your essay topic is as important as the content itself. Remember that your readers tend to find out what your essay says by just reading the title. However, you can not have a compelling title if you have not read the book.

A catchy and interesting topic can be gotten from asking relevant questions about the book and knowing who the characters are and what they represent. These questions are mostly primarily based totally on the fact that surrounds the book.

Also, apprehend what the story is about, what the social troubles of the stories are, and the proposed response to them. The answers to these questions can supply you with outstanding topics for your essay

Examples of good essay topics on A Worn Path

Write the thesis statement

Your thesis statement is the interior of your essay. Having a strong and detailed thesis statement is a plus to your essay. Your thesis should be relevant to the book. Your thesis might be based on questioning the decisions Phoenix had to make during the course of her journey. Was saving her grandson worth the troubles?

Create the outline

Once your thesis is ready, the next phase is to create a good outline for your essay. Your outline can only be created after your research on the book and the subject matter. You should follow an essay’s standard structure: the introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion. Your outline can be arranged according to the plot of the book. But do not neglect your essay topic as well.

The introduction must begin with sentences that hook your readers to your essay. A good introduction should resound in the mind of the readers and make them want to flip through each page. The narrator’s description of Phoenix Jackson can begin your essay. We should all wonder how a small, old woman is able to survive the tough adventure.

The body paragraphs must contain all your suitable assertions and statements. However, you can have supportive points to maintain your take on the topic. However, your body paragraph should be specific. You don’t want to bore your readers.

The conclusion should not only be the wrap-up of all your statements or arguments; it should be your chance to emphasize the thesis.

Include a lesson or moral

Every writer writes with a theme or two to address. So also, as a writer of an essay, you should include your lesson and the moral standard you got from the book. However, you should also indicate your idea of the story. Remember how badly Phoenix is treated by people of her color who call her old and a charity case, however, she gets better treatment from other white folks.

The morals in your lesson will leave your readers with your perspective of the book.

Conclusion: Proofread your work

Finally, proofreading is essential to having a great essay. While you read through, ensure you are not in haste while you do so because you tend to find errors, blunders, and points that have to either be eliminated or included in your essay. The reason for proofreading is to reorganize your thoughts, vocabulary, and grammar. Students seeking an expert to handle their essays can reach out to us, our writers are available to provide you with the best essay.


What is the message of a Worn Path

A Worn Path is a story about a poor black woman and her adventure in seeking medicine for her sick grandson. The woman is so poor that several characters in the book refer to her as a charity case. She goes through the woods, forest, and plains in search of a miracle for the only dear thing she owns on earth, her grandson.

What is the Conclusion Of A Worn Path?

After having faced the troubles and tribulations, and meeting different people who castigated and helped her respectively, Phoenix came back to her home as a renewed woman with a better perception of life. She now realizes that love, sympathy, and care aren’t about race, it is about the humans themselves.

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