A Worn Path by Eudora Welty
About the Author
Eudora Welty (1909-2001)
Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1909 to a mother who was a schoolteacher and a father who was an insurance executive. Her mother encouraged Welty and her two brothers to read, instilling a lifelong love of reading. Welty graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in literature and furthered her education by studying advertising at Columbia. Welty worked at the local newspaper and radio station, then began writing short stories, eventually quitting her job to become a full-time writer. She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1973 for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Welty is best known for her short stories “Death of a Traveling Salesman” and “A Worn Path.”
“A Worn Path” (1941)
An old woman walks a long path to get to town. “A Worn Path” won second place for the O. Henry award in 1941.
Questions for “A Worn Path”
When and where do you think this story takes place? What clues in the story led you to this conclusion?
What obstacles does Phoenix face? What challenges must she overcome?
This story contains a lot of symbolism. What do you think the hunter Phoenix encounters on the journey symbolizes? What about the woman who ties her shoes?
A phoenix is a mythical bird that would live for five hundred years, be consumed by fire, and then rise from its own ashes. In what way is the name of the creature appropriate for the main character of this story?
Do you believe Phoenix’s grandson is still alive? Why or why not?
Storybooks for Elementary, Intensive Support, and Preschool