Time is all we need to take a Journey into the world of adventure. When you take time out to read a book you are allowing yourself the opportunity to explore new worlds from the comforts of your home. Literature has no boundaries in its approach to reach out and touch society. The only thing that can hold someone back from the joy of literature is the lack of appeal or interest to explore into the world of reading. Reading is the bridge to all forms of education and growth. The story of “l Used to Live Here by Jean Rays” is set up in a West Indies country environment.
The story follows the Journey of a woman that is traveling through her old neighborhood again. The story shows her memory of how the Journeys through the area use to look like. She recalls the flow of the river and how careful you have to be when you cross it using the rocks. “(Rays, J. 1976 Peg. 12 Para 1) There was the round unsteady stone, the pointed one, the TLA one in the middle? the sate stone where you could stand and look around. The next one wasn’t so safe for when the river was full the water flowed over it and even when it showed dry it was slippery.
The road has become wider than she once remembered. Even though the roads have been changed the trees are not being cleared properly making the area look less cared for. The mention of the yellow colored grass lets you know that the time of year is in the heart of summertime. The travel path lets you know the type of environment is some type of countryside with the crossing of the stream. At the end of her Journey she comes upon the house she use to live in. (“Rays, J. 1976 Peg. 12 Para 4) “She came to the worn stone steps that led up to the house and her heart began to beat.
The screw pine was gone, so was the mock summer house called the jojoba, but the clove tree was still there and at the top of the steps the rough lawn stretched away, Just as she remembered it. She stopped and looked towards the house that had been added to and painted white. It was strange to see a car standing in front of it. ” It hints to a time before cars were a common household thing throughout the country. Once she arrives at the house she also makes mention of seeing two children playing in the yard. There is mention of a boy and a young girl. When she speaks to them shyly they do not respond to her.
The first thing she thinks of is there upbringing and perhaps they are not supposed to speak with strangers. When she gets closer and the boys look her way the words hello come out again. This time she is close enough to reach out and touch the children. When they still give no response the reality sets in as to why no one has been paying her any attention. When the children run off for the house she realizes that she is no longer living in this world and that explains why there have been so many changes. Sadness appears to come over the story as she faces the fact that she has gone on from this world.
The Rooney gives you a sense that she is somehow looking back over a time in her life when she was most likely very happy, only to realize that time has passed on since she was last seen there in the house. She has to come to terms with moving on to another time in her life in a different world. The story leaves the imagination to wonder about her Journey into the next life or world which she will now live. The story of “A Worn Path by Adore Welt’ identifies her female character at the beginning of the story. Similar to the beginning of I use to live here, you are set upon a Journey at the beginning of the story. Welt, E. 1941 Peg. 3 Para 1) her name was Phoenix Jackson. She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps with the balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grand-father clock. She carried a thin, small cane made from an umbrella, and with this she kept tapping the frozen earth in front of her. This made a grave and persistent noise in the still air that seemed meditative like the chirping of a solitary little bird”. She describes how the woman is dressed and the time of year the story is taking place.
The ground being frozen tells of a winter day in which she is traveling along her path. The story sets the tone by letting you know Phoenix is taking a Journey. The Journey represents a life time of struggle and triumph. “(Welt, E. 1941 Peg. 4 Para 4) the path ran up a I Seem like there is chains about my teeth, time I get this tar,” she said, in the voice of argument old people keep to use with themselves. “Something always take a hold of me on this hill? pleads I should stay. ” After she got to the top she turned and gave a full, severe look behind her where she had come. Up through pines,” she said at length. Now down through oaks. ” Her eyes opened their widest, and she started down gently. Before she got to the bottom of the hill a bush caught her dress. ” The Journey shows a struggle for her throughout the trip. The increased age has made her less mobile in her travels. The cold weather adds a level of difficulty to her Journey. “(Welt, E. 1941 Peg. 4 Para 6) her fingers were busy and intent, but her skirts were full and long, so that before she could pull them free in one place they were caught in another.
It was not possible to allow the dress to tear. “l in the thorny bush,” she said. Thorns, you doing you’re appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you were a pretty little green bush. ” Finally, trembling all over, she stood free, and after a moment dared to stoop for her cane”. Even though the Journey is difficult her determination is more than enough to keep her going. She has to make this Journey because her grandson needs her too be strong for him. She sees a scarecrow in the corn field and thinks it is a man dressed in dark clothes.
When she realizes what she is looking upon she thinks out loud about how old she has become. The mention of dead leaves, make future mention of the time of year that she is traveling. The cabins that are used also relay the time of year, as they are all boarded up for the winter months. “(Welt, E. 1941 Peg. 6 Para. 7) “A black dog with a lolling tongue came up out of the weeds by the ditch. She was meditating, and not ready, and when he came at her she only hit him a little with her cane. Over she went in the ditch, like a little puff of milkweed. Down there, her senses drifted away.
A dream visited her, and she reached her hand up, but nothing reached down and gave her a pull. So she lay there and presently went to talking. “Old woman,” she said to herself, “that black dog come up out of the weeds to stall you off and now there he sitting on his fine tail, smiling at you. ” The help she received form the hunter during her travel relates to the year of the story. The mention of the hunter being white adds to the drama of the story. The white hunter represents a time of racial tensions in the country. The desegregation of America has yet to take place in this area of her Journey.
The reference to her finding the nickel that he drops and feeling guilt about it shows how such religious fate she has in herself. The pointing of his gun towards her future indicates the racial climate of the times. The weapon shows that he feels superior to her because of her racial background. The mention that he feels that pointing a gun at her is normal tells the story of the area in which she has traveled. The neighborhood has a pointed opinion about blacks during that time. Encounter with the dog and white hunter during her travel did not slow down or detour her from the path she was on.
Her trip to town had an importance above any delays she would come across during her travel. She knows her grandson is dependent upon her successful Journey into town. Each setback gives her more determination towards moving on to the doctor’s office. Her Journey is about going to the medical office tort near grandson. When seen arrives in town she feels more at easy and quickly asks one of the passing ladies to tie her shoes. The shoe strings being untied make reference to her age at the time of the journey. The fact that she will ask a white female to tie her shoe in town shows more of a civilized way of life.
The steps she has to climb only echo the length of her Rooney into town. Once she arrives at the office the attendant echoes the racial climate of the times as she addresses Phoenix in a rude manner. Phoenix pauses inside the office and seems to be thinking of something, but she does not answer the attendant. The long pause in conversation gives way to personal emotions in the story. Some would say that she was at a point of being tired of the disrespect being shown by someone off much younger age. The hint of racial disrespect could have caused her to take time to compose herself before she replied with anger.
Even during our times today e find ourselves in situations, which cause us to pause at times before we answer in order to compose ourselves. The nurse gets her to speak when she asks about the health of her grandson. Phoenix seems to come back to the time at hand and answers the nurse. Phoenix relays the condition of her grandson to the nurse and continues to talk about other things until the nurse stops her. The nurse arranges to get the medicine Phoenix has traveled so far to get. The nurse tells the attendant to label it charity. The attendant tries to make amends with her by offering her money.
Phoenix makes mention of the time again when she talks about the surrender of the south and her not being able to attend school. When the civil war ended most people continue their work in the cotton fields. Education was not seen as something of importance during those times. Every able bodied child was looked upon to help support the household. Phoenix then receives the medicine she traveled so far to get and heads out of the office. Phoenix makes mention of buying a present before she takes her Journey home. The present she mentioned has no real value except to her and her grandson.
She mentions that the toy is going to be made out of paper. She has only tens cents to spend so her choices are limited. The toy will still fell like a treat to her grandson. The Journey home will be Just as hard for Phoenix when she leaves town. The fact that she has shown an enormous amount of strength during her Journey leaves you believing she will complete her Journey home no matter what happens along the way. You are not left feeling sorry for her return trip through the path. Instead you feel like she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.