Summary of A Worn Path
‘A Worn Path’ is a story of an old courageous woman Phoenix Jackson, who loves her grandson very much, so, goes to the city to take medicine for his treatment. Jackson shows her unconscious heroism because she crosses multiple obstacles in her long journey to the city. She is a lovely Negro grandmother who ties her head with a red rag. She wears a dark striped dress reaching up to her shoe tops. She also wears a neat and clean long apron with a full of pocket. Her eyes are blue with age and skin is wrinkled. Under the red rag, her black hair hanging down on her neck which has an order of copper. She carries a thin small cane made from an umbrella.
Jackson stats her journey in the early morning of December. It is chilly cold, she walks through the pine forest. She asks all wild creatures to go away from her path. Sunlight makes pine bright to look at. Jackson climbs up the hill and riches at the top. Now she has to climb down the oak forest. When thorny bush catches her. But, it is her only imagination, Phoenix becomes happy as it is not a season if bulls and snakes.
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She passes through old cotton and goes into a field of dead corn. She frightens with scarecrow which she first supposes a ghost. She goes near to it, closes eyes and touches it. She laughs herself. Then she walks further and finds quail (a wild hen) running into the forest. In a flowing stream, Jackson drinks water and says that nobody knows who made that well.
Now track goes into the road. When she reaches the height bank, a dock comes out from the ditch. She tries to remove it with cane but falls into the ditch. A white hunter pulls her out. He asks her where she is going. When he knows that she is going to the city, he says black people never miss to see Santa Claus. Hunter runs away by chasing dog and old women pick up a nickel fallen down from hunter’s pocket. She hears dogs fighting. Hunter comes back and pointed his gun at phoenix but she does not scare.
Phoenix and hunter go in a different direction. Now Jackson is near to the city. She hears bells ringing. Houses are decorated ad Christmas is coming near. Jackson asks a beautiful lady to tie her shoelace. Moving slowly from side to side, finally, she climbs up the stairs of a stony building before reaching to the destination. She goes inside the room. An attendant asks multiple questions but Jackson does not speak at all.
She is so tired that she forgets the way she is there. One nurse comes and asks her to sit. When nurses ask her about her grandson, she still remains silent. When Jackson comes to real consciousness, she says that her grandson is the same as before. He is waiting for her inside the patch (torn) quilt opening his mouth like a little bird. Nurses say that it is an obstinate case and gives a bottle of medicine free of cost. Attendant gives a nickel to Jackson. She puts it with the previous one. Now Jackson steps out from the room. She has planned to buy a little windmill for her grandson.
In this story, we can easily observe the difficulties of remote areas. In the village area, people are deprived of the basic facilities of health is one major concern of this story. Next side this story exposes the never-dying love of grandmother toward her grandson. Jackson and grandson are so close that one is living for others. Although she is very old but determined to save her grandson’s life.