A Labor of Love
Eng. 125: Introduction to Literature
15 June 2014
A Labor of Love
The literary work I chose for this assignment is, “A Worn Path,” by Eudora Welthy. When I first read this short story, I thought it was about the journey of an old woman on her way to town and the hardships she faced along the way. However, after analyzing the symbolism of the environment and replaying the events of the day from the speaker’s point of view, I realized the story had a much profound meaning than just a journey of hardship; it was a journey of love and commitment. Canonic (2009) says, “The writer hints at the thematic element by means of imaginative titles, or statements that seem to summarize what he intends to communicate: ….., recurring haunting images, brief views that seem to convey all-embracing messages and meanings…..,” (Canonic, 2009 pg.120). The author’s use of literary elements such as symbols and points of view, allowed me, as a reader to grasp a clear understanding of the message she wanted to get across.
The use of symbolism by the author immerses the reader into the story by describing things commonly known for having two meanings. This allowed the author to challenge the reader’s creative thinking skills and is used to supports the theme of the literature. From the beginning of her journey to the near end of her destination, the main character is faced with several symbols reminding her she should turn around and not continue. However, Phoenix’s resolve would not be swayed, “as she struggled up that hill and down the other side, ignored the reminders of age and the constant reminders of death, in the form of the scarecrow, ghost, buzzard and the hunter’s threating jester with his gun,” (as cited in Clugston, 2010 section 6.3). The symbols used by author shows the reader just how far the main character was willing to go to provide her grandson, not just in retrieving the medicine, but in the gift, she buys...