The Journey

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2012 02:29 PM

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The Journey

Tanya Wilson

ENG 125

Instructor Cynthia Williams

September 24, 2012

The journey described in the two short stories “A Worn Path” and “I Used To Live Here Once” features a strong female character who have traveled paths that have led them to the end of their journey resulting in vastly different outcomes. Both stories use setting, symbolism and character development to bring about strong emotions in the culmination of their separate journeys. The symbolism and setting convey a tone that draws the reader into seeing the world from the main character’s perspective, and helps the reader to enter into the experience of the protagonists. The symbolism of the journey is woven throughout the setting and the experiences conveyed through the narrative, and it shows how different these women’s life experiences have been, and what a difference there is in the way their journeys end.

Both stories deal with the great theme of life and death, which is a journey that all mortals share and can relate to. The use of setting in both stories brings a richness to the reading, and touches the reader with the shared intimacy of the travelling of the road we must all travel at some point in our lives. The realization that life has come to an end for the main character in “I Used To Live Here Once” jars the reader into having to face the reality of their own mortality, The realization of her demise is precipitated by the fact that she is no longer able to effect change on the living – her time to make a difference is over (Rhys, 1976). .In “A Worn Path” Phoenix Jackson is coming to the end of her journey, after a life lived overcoming racial prejudice and trials in the form of her incapacitated grandson, and leaves us with a sense of a life dedicated to overcoming adversity on the behalf of future generations (Welty, 1941)

“A Worn Path” is set in winter during Christmastime, a time of death and rebirth as symbolized through the Christmas story, a journey through...