Welty and Hughes
The protagonists of both Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” and Langston Hughes “The Negro Woman” are elderly African-American woman who sacrifice themselves in order that their offspring will have better lives. Welty writes a touching story about a woman who everyone rebuffs because of how she looks and dresses, but who is so much stronger than all those who would ridicule her. Even with all the odds stacked against her, Phoenix Jackson holds out hope that her efforts will eventually pay off and her grandson will be well again. Hughes’s narrator, on the other hand, is angry at her suffering and warning those who live freely now not to forget her and her misery. On the surface, the stories are about an old woman making a very long journey on foot through the south in order to get medicine for her ailing grandson and one reflecting on how much misery she had to endure that the present generation would not have to suffer. One a deeper level, “A Worn Path” and “The Negro Woman” are about the journey each person makes through life, the sacrifices we have to endure for the people we love, and the eventual demise that awaits us all.
When “A Worn Path” begins, the reader does not yet know what it is that sends Phoenix on her lengthy journey. Despite the adjectives that would depict her as old and frail, the words spoken by Phoenix show how strong she is. She says, “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons, and wild animals!…Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whitesâ€¦Keep the big hogs out of my path. Don’t let none of those come running my direction. I got a long way” (Welty 1). She is unafraid of the wild animals in her path. Instead of quivering at the potential danger, she warns the animals to stay clear of her because she has a long trek in front of her. The fear of the unknown is nothing when compared to her sense of purpose. She had to go through dirt and fences of barbed wire, never fearing for her safety. Instead, what concerned her was the chance of ruining her dress which could garner a negative opinion from the people she was going to see.
Similarly, Hughes’ narrator went on a miserable back-breaking journey for the spiritual and physical well-being of her children and grandchildren. However, in the poem, the narrator’s journey is over and freedom has been won. Her labors are over so her tone is not the same determination of Phoenix. Instead it is a tone of bitterness at the past suffering and an admonishing of the present for not being more grateful. She says, “All you dark children in the world out there, / Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair” (Hughes line 31-32). Phoenix is in the middle of her long journey and so does not have time to think about her suffering, only her goal.
When Phoenix Jackson finally reaches the doctor’s office to retrieve medicine for her ailing grandson, she is met with disregard by the white staff. The first person she encounters assumes by the old woman’s clothing that hers is a charity case. The staff, even those that know Phoenix’s story are rude and abrupt. One says to her, “You mustn’t take up our time this way, Aunt Phoenix,’ the nurse said. ‘Tell us quickly about your grandson, and get it over. He isn’t dead, is he?” The nurse can only see Phoenix’s appearance and her race. This prejudicial attitude prevents her from being sympathetic to a woman who has been sacrificing everything she has to keep her only remaining relative alive. The way the nurse questions Phoenix about her grandson is harsh and cruel. She asks whether or not the child is still alive like one would ask if it were still raining. The fact is that she really does not care one way or the other and is unable to hide this emotion from the woman in front of her.
This prejudicial attitude is a major theme in Hughes’ work also. Of the slavery years, he writes: “I am the one who labored as a slave, / Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave – / Children sold away from me, I’m husband sold, too. / No safety, no love, no respect was I due” (lines 11-14). Even after the years of slavery have been ended by legislation, the African-Americans of the United States are treated by marginalization and prejudice. The majority community has little interest in the troubles of the minority, as is indicated in both of these narratives.
In “The Negro Mother,” his narrator’s primary concern is in making sure the present understands exactly how fortunate they have it in comparison with those who lived in the past. Those who live freely owe all their good fortune to the suffering of their ancestors. This is an idea that is easy to forget in the wake of modern luxury and happiness. The only way to achieve true equality in a world of prejudices is to continue to use strength and force of will to demand that equality. Hughes writes:
Believe in the right, let none push you back.
Remember the whip and the slaver’s track.
Remember how the strong in struggle and strife
Still bar you the way, and deny you life
But march ever forward, breaking down bars (lines 39-44).
This strength is a part of the Negro heritage. Those who leaved in the past and were made to suffer on a daily basis had to build up strength in order to survive in the harsh universe. Their descendents, on the other hand, do not have to deal with daily beatings and the threat of being separated from their loved ones by their white oppressors. Consequently, without being reminded constantly about the blood debt they owe their ancestors, present African-Americans could grow complacent and stop fighting.
“A Worn Path” is not only about what people are willing to do for those we care about, but what we are willing to suffer ourselves in order to ease their pain. In the case of Phoenix Jackson, not only must she endure a long and difficult trek to the doctor’s, she must also put up with the glares and the patronizing of the white people around her. Her little boy will never truly understand the kind of misery that she was forced to endure that he might have a chance for survival. Though physically frail, Phoenix teaches that internal strength is far more important than muscle or youth or the color of your skin.
Both stories reflect on the difficulties of the African-American woman living in a nation where the white men are the people who have all the power. With this power comes the ability to force the racial minority into slavery, which is exactly what transpired. Only through sacrifice, determination, and internal strength can the present generation hope to continue the path to equality and to honor the suffering of the loving and determined women who came before them.
Hughes, Langston. “The Negro Mother.” Print.
Welty, Eudora. “A Worn Path.” The Atlantic Monthly. 1941. Print.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more