The Ponder Heart

What are the two ways to interpret Phoenix's journey to buy medicine?

A Worn Path

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.......Though quite old and suffering from infirmities, Phoenix Jackson regularly walks a long distance to obtain medicine for her grandchild. Even in cold weather, when the frozen earth is slippery, she makes the trip. Her journey—the worn path she follows—demonstrates her love for the child.


.......Phoenix Jackson's walk to Natchez demonstrates her will to persevere in a sometimes hostile world. On her way to Natchez, she must endure the cold, keep her footing on frozen ground, crawl under a barbed-wire fence, walk through the maze of a cornfield, and watch out for dangerous animals such as wild hogs. An unfriendly dog threatens her and she falls into a ditch. But her occasional journey to Natchez is only a small part of her story. Every day, she must deal with poverty and the pains of old age, care for a child with a scarred throat, and confront the evil of racial prejudice—a fact of life in Mississippi and elsewhere in the U.S.