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A Worn Path: Analysis of a Minor Character

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A minor character from Eudora Welty’s, “A Worn Path”, is the hunter. Although he does appear in an important part in the story, when he encounters Phoenix in the forest, he is still considered a minor character and the story did reveal many things about the hunter. The story revealed that the hunter is just a stock character because he only appeared in one scene and he also wasn’t even given a name by the author. When he did appear briefly in the story, he showcased characteristics of the many racial encounters that she had to experience throughout her life every day and he was also a representation of what most white men were like during this time period because he showed no respect towards her at all.

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When the hunter first met Phoenix, it was right after she had fallen in the ditch and he didn’t know who she was, so he helped pull her up. The hunter was extremely disrespectful to Phoenix and he ended up pointing a gun at her to try and scare her because he was trying to show her that he had power over her because she was an old colored woman. “And then he laughed and lifted his gun and pointed it at Phoenix……’ Doesn’t the gun scare you? he said, still pointing it” (Par. 48 & 50). He made her think that he actually cared and was trying to help her, but he really wasn’t. The hunter did showcase his racial standpoint because he continued to criticize her and tell her that it would be wiser for her to turn back and go home. For example, in paragraph forty-two, he even made a slick comment about her because of what color she was; “I know you old colored people! Wouldn’t miss going to town to see Santa Claus” (Welty Par. 42). When he said this, he was clearly demonstrating his stance on racism because he what he said was an insult towards colored people. Not only did he have something to say about her race, he also mentioned that she was too old as well. This is what he said to her in paragraph 33, “Well, granny!’ he laughed. ‘What ae you doing there?” (Welty Par. 33). When they first met his immediate response was to call her “granny” and that shows he has no respect for her at all. If you are going to someone you just met, you should ask them what their name actually is instead of giving them an insulting nickname.

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A Worn Path: Analysis of a Minor Character. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“A Worn Path: Analysis of a Minor Character.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
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