Eudora Welty: A Worn Path (00:00)
On a "bright, frozen day" in Mississippi, 95-year-old Phoenix Jackson makes her mythic journey into town for the medicine her grandson needs. Touching upon themes of family, love, aging, and poverty, this dramatization of Eudora Welty’s classic story "A Worn Path" provides both a heroic image of the human spirit enduring against tremendous odds and a poignant commentary on the African-American experience. An interview with Welty herself by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Beth Henley concludes the program. (32 minutes)
Beginning the Journey (04:21)
Phoenix begins her journey to town. She talks to the animals to stay away from her. She prays wild boars won't cross her path. Tired, she rests against a tree and dreams a boy is handing her food.
Facing Obstacles Along the Path (05:40)
A scarecrow in the cornfield frightens Phoenix and she laughs at herself. She comes across a hunter who, when taking out a handkerchief, drops a coin. He does not see it and Phoenix “steals” it.
Arrival in Town (03:36)
Phoenix arrives in town and asks a lady to tie her shoes for her. She ascends the long stairs to the doctor's office.
Doctor's Office (06:13)
The receptionist and nurse treat Phoenix as a charity case. The nurse gives Phoenix medicine for her sick grandson. The receptionist gives Phoenix a nickel. She wants to buy her grandson a present.
Interview with Eudora Welty (03:30)
Eudora Welty shares how she came up with the idea for “A Worn Path.” She shares how she chose the name Phoenix and how the old woman is like the bird, rising again and again.
Welty's Further Analysis (05:40)
Welty shares how her comments are an analysis after writing the story. These comments include her ideas about the dream, the hunter, stealing the nickel, and whether or not the grandson is alive.
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