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In “A Worn Path” colors are used to emphasize the depth and breadth of the story, and to reinforce the parallel images of the mythical phoenix and the protagonist Phoenix Jackson. Eudora Welty’s story is rich with references to colors that are both illustrative and perceptive, drawing us in to investigate an additional historical facet of the story.
The surface story is a poor black grandma’s journey with an errand; to get medicine for her grandchild burned by lye. The colors used apprise the reader of another story. This parallel story uses color to tell us of a journey taken by a poor, black, disenfranchised people to completely own their legal and civil rights; they have been burned by lies. “A Worn Path” uses the journey of this one remarkable woman to serve as a lens to view the hardships of the African American people.
Welty tells the story with “some dreams and harassments and a small triumph or two, some jolts to [Phoenix’s] pride, some flights of fancy to console her, one or two encounters to scare her, a moment that gave her cause to be ashamed, a moment to dance an…