a worn path

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Tywanna ColemanENG 105In this essay I will discuss how people reacted to phoenix Jackson while she was on her journey, in Eudora Welty A Worn Path, Which illustrates an old African American women on a journey to get her grandson medication in the 1930s during the Great Depression. She was old and small, she wore a dark stripped dress and tied her head with a red rag. phoenix is determined and focused to get her grandson the medication that he need. On her journey she encounters a few different people who reacts to her in different ways, but they treat her as if she’s a nobody because of her appearance. Even though they treated her without respect she treated each person she came across with respect and stayed focused on her mission. The first person she comes across is a white young man who helps her up off the ground. At first he seems like a respectable young man helping an old lady out but, instead he made smart remarks and pulled a gun on her. “Where do you live, Granny?”(pg.390) he asked her where she lived and had no intentions of helping her getting back there or where she needed to go. Phoenix informs him that she’s trying to get to the town and his response was “ I know you old colored people! Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Clause”(pg. 390) he assumed that because she was colored she wasn’t going to the city for anything important and insisted that she goes home, but phoenix told him she was going to continue her journey to the city. During their encounter the man drops a nickel and phoenix uses his dogs to distract him so she can pick it up. “Git on away from here, dog! Look! look at that dog!”( pg.390). Once the mans attention was on his dogs phoenix slowly picks the money up, when the man returns he tries to scare her into going home “he laughed and lifted his gun and pointed it at phoenix.”(p.g391), but she doesn’t back down “she stood straight and faced him”(pg. 391) phoenix holding her ground was a surprise to this man Most people would’ve ran off but phoenix was on a mission to get to her destination she remined focused. “ Doesn’t the gun scare you?”(Pg.391). The casualness of his action speaks to how little he actually cares for her as a human, and expresses his sense of racial superiority. Phoenix finally makes it to her destination, but before she goes in the building she stops a lady on the street and ask her to tie her shoe lace because she wanted to look presentable “do all right for out in the country, but wouldn’t look right to go in a big building”(pg.391). Once she gets in the building an attendant immediately dismisses her as a “charity” case. “A charity case I supposed.”(pg.392). She is fairly rude and condescending, and criticizes Phoenix for failing to give an immediate answers rather than caring about Phoenix’s well-being. A nurse who knows phoenix from her previous visits to the doctor office comes out “ oh, that’s just old Aunt phoenix, she doesn’t come for herself she has a little grandson” (pg.392). Though the nurse is sympathetic to Phoenix, she is also a bit impatient when Phoenix is slow to respond to her and seems to consider her own time more important than Phoenix’s. “ You mustn’t take up our time this way” (pg. 392) Phoenix explains to the nurse that she seem to have forgot why she came all this way. the nurse gives her the medicine and marks it down as charity.Phoenix is an old but fierce women, she doesn’t let anything get in her path to stop her from getting the medication for her grandson. On her journey she was confronted with racially tense encounters, she works through it with dignity, grace, and quite a bit of cleverness. Though her journey exhausts her emotionally and physically she doesn’t lose her faith in god and her love for her grandson