Religous Symbols in a Worn Path Essay

“A Worn Path” In the short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, the main character Phoenix defeats many obstacles in her life. No matter what she goes through Phoenix is able to being her journey again. Phoenix symbolizes the mythical legend the Phoenix a special bird that has the ability to overcome anything to be reborn. Many believed the Phoenix has the ability to die and be born again, making the bird have eternal life. In the short story the main character Phoenix represents the legend, no matter what Phoenix goes through; she rises above all her problems and obstacles to rise above.

The main character Phoenix is an older woman that regularly makes long trips to town. These regular trips to town usually take Phoenix a full day to complete, and along the way she endures many difficult obstacles, “She makes these trips just as regular as clockwise. She lives away back off the Old Natene Trace” (Welty 99). This little old woman must constantly rise above the challenges put in front of her to finish her journey. Every trip Phoenix makes has a new challenge she must overcome and rise above, like the legend of the Phoenix.

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On one of her many trips to town Phoenix came across a dog, it startles her and causes her to fall. ” She was meditating and not ready, and when he came at her she only hit him a little with her can. Over she went in the ditch, like little puff of milkweed” (Welty 97). Even though Phoenix fell into the ditch she doesn’t let that stop her she over comes the fall to rise and continue on. Just like the legend of the Phoenix, Ms. Old Phoenix does not let the obstacles before he slow her down. It takes Phoenix half a day to make it to town; half of her obstacles have been defeated.

Once she gets to town she must return the way she came and make her journey all over again. Phoenix always rises above all the challenges put in front of her. Her return home was the last half of the obstacles, “She lifted her free hand, gave a little nod turned around and walked out of the doctor’s office. Then her slow step began on the stairs going down” (Welty100). Phoenix has defeated half of the obstacles placed in front of her. Now Phoenix must overcome all the struggles she will face to return home, the ending to her long journey.

The legend of the Phoenix is one of a bird that over comes to be born again. Old Ms. Phoenix overcomes obstacles every day. She rises above to begin a new day, and a new journey. Whatever is put in front of her, Ms. Phoenix finds away to overcome, rise above and be born again to a new day. Welty, Endora. “A Worn Path”. Literature. Ed. Edgar Vi Roberts. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. 95-102 “Neighbors” In the short story “Neighbors” by Raymond Carver, Bill and Arlene Miller are the main characters of the story.

Bill and Arlene are a good example of Man Vs. Himself conflict. Most of the issues and actions they take come from their own desires to have more than they do. The millers conflict with their selves trying to see and envision how someone else may live. Bill and Arlene is a couple that has grown tired of the lives they live. They earn for a more adventurous and spontaneous life style. The lives they wished for the most was their neighbors the Stones, “mostly in comparison with the lives of their neighbors, Harriet and Him Stone” (Carver 117).

Bill and Arlene have self conflicts with their own lives, so they fantasize how it may be to live life as their neighbors the Stones. One day the Stones go out of town and the Millers house sit and watch their cat for them. Bill goes to check on the house and feed the pet cat daily, and slowly he begins going through the Stones belongings, (He opened the medicine chest. He found a container of pills” (Carver 117). If Bill could have controlled his own desire to have life style of the Stones, he wouldn’t have looked through the Stones possessions. He does this for days, checking on the cat and looking through things.

Every time he goes to the house the looks through something. Bill will spend long amounts of time, hours looking through the Stones belongings without even realizing it. His desire to have the lifestyle of the Stones makes him in some way lose touch with reality. He even goes as far as to put on their clothes and wear them throughout the house, “He shed his own clothes and slipped into the shorts and the shirt” (Carver 119). When he puts on the clothes in Bills mind, putting on the clothes made him that much closer to living the lifestyle, and being a Stone.

Throughout the whole story Bill is the main one going through the house but Arlene also desires to have the lifestyle the Stones have. When Arlene goes to check on the house she also finds herself looking through the stones possessions, she even come across some personal items, “ I guess I should tell you. I found some pictures” (Carver 119). She could not resist, she also had the strong desire to look through the Stones personal items. If Arlene could have controlled her desire to live the life of someone else, the private things she found in the Stones house would have never been revealed.

Man Vs. Himself is present throughout the entire story. The conflict was never solved or even recognized. If Bill and Arlene would have eliminated the desire to have the life of their neighbors, the invasion of privacy would have never happened. Carver, Raymond. “Neighbors”. Literature. Ed. Edgar Vi Roberts. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. 116-120 “The Lottery” In the short story “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson uses the Arabesque form of righting. Arabesque form of righting is putting the characters through events that touchier their mind in some way.

The story revolves around a town of people waiting to see who draws the slip of paper that will ultimately lead to their death. Every year the town’s people gather together for the Lottery, a town tradition. The children are gathering rocks and all the towns people where in the square. Everyone was talking and seemed well but the thought that the drawing was near was on everyone’s mind. The main touchier begins when Mr. Summers and others bring the black box and three legged stool, “The villagers kept their distance, leaving space between themselves and the stool”(Jackson121).

To the towns people the box and stool where a cherished item, once the box was empty and the lottery was over, and a sacrifice would be made. Each individual person had to wait to draw from the box waiting to find out if someone from their family was the sacrifice. The townspeople where being tortured by the uncertainty of what lied before them, life or death. To get the Lottery started is a big deal; every head of household must be accounted for to make sure everyone in town participates in the drawing. “There was a great deal of fussing to be done before Mr. Summers declared the lottery open. There were the lists to make up” (Jackson 121).

Making sure every person in town was there takes time; time the townspeople had to think and wander if they or their family would be sacrificed. Once the drawing begins a hush falls over the crowd, each individual person must draw before anyone is able to look at the piece of paper in their hand. The townspeople went through the torture of having the fate of their life in the palm of a hand and not being able to see what it holds. “Keep the paper folded in your hand without looking at it until everyone has had a turn” (Jackson 123). The townspeople had to go through all the waiting, and wondering if they would live or if they would die.

Waking up one morning knowing there could be a chance that one’s life may be over at before the day ends; to most is a terrifying thought. A day of rituals and preparations for an event leading to one’s possible demise can drive even the sanest person insane. In “The Lottery” the townspeople even hold the fate of their lives in their hand and cannot look at it. The Arabesque style of righting is all throughout the story. The townspeople’s mind where tortured from wake until the sacrifice was made. Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery”. Literature. Ed. Edgar Vi Roberts. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. 2008. 120-125