Why 'a Worn Path' Is a Good Short Story

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Date Submitted: 05/10/2010 02:24 AM

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Why ‘A Worn Path’ is a good short story

Like all good short stories, this story is about a journey. A journey that the protagonist

goes through has impediments. The author imagines the journey in the old woman’s point of view

the whole time, which makes it more exciting and lively. The development of character is done

very well as the readers are given small details about the protagonist little by little, which makes

them imagine and wonder what the protagonist’s ultimate goal is.

The protagonist is an old black woman named Phoenix. Immediately from the beginning, the

readers are given information that she is poor. However she has dignity and does not complain

about her situation, rather she finds ways to overcome this. It is also interesting to see that she

may be a superstitious person as she imagines that there are animals hiding behind the bushes.

All these small details make one form a kind of fondness towards her. She is a sweet old woman

who does not give up in any circumstances which is admirable.

The journey that Phoenix goes through may seem trivial and not much of a journey to young

people. However for an old woman, this journey through the forest is as exciting and dangerous

as climbing the Mount Everest. That’s why this story is so good. There is an undefined humor

underneath the setting of the story. The author does very well by making her journey to be a

difficult one even though ‘home’ to ‘forest’ is not much of a challenge.

Towards the end of the story, readers become aware of the reason why she took this journey.

The puzzle fits together when she arrives at Natchez, the ‘forest.’ She was trying to get some

medicine for her sick grandson. This sudden change of mood defines her character directly to be

universal from being humorous to being sad. The author actually gave hints of tragic

circumstances throughout the story but it was so subtle that the readers...