Representation of Traditions in A Worn Path

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Traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Whether it’s expressed through beliefs, customs or behavioral actions within a group. They all hold symbolic meaning and can affect society as a whole. Although traditions have a great impact and hold a great value from the past, there are many different types and all have special significance to them. In the stories “The Lottery”, “A Rose for Emily”, and “ A Worn Path” contain different themes but all have a common connection, tradition.

In the story, “The Lottery,” the village gathers around every year and participates in what they call the lottery. A black box carried by Mr.Summers contains pieces of paper with one having a black dot. As villagers one by one draw from the box and whoever draws the paper with the black dot gets stoned to death. Seymour Lainhoff, a critic, also recalls and says, “The story imagines that, in some typical American community, and the typical citizen, disliking the lottery, but accepting it as inevitable,.” With this it backs the meaning that many of the citizens in the village, don't understand why the lottery is happening but continue it simply because of traditions.

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In addition, “ A Rose for Emily” portrays a woman who declines new changes in her life and in society after the death of her father. Ray B. West, Jr., a critic, states “In these terms, it might seem that the story is a comment upon tradition and upon those people who live in a dream world of the past. But is it not also comment upon the present?” Therefore, she lives in her own traditional world from the past to the present. And ignores the comment made to her from the people around her. This makes her house and herself a symbol of tradition.

Thirdly, “ A Worn Path” represents an older woman named Phoenix. She travels a dangerous path to get medications for her grandson,who is ill after eating iye. A critic, named Neil D. Isaacs, states “ the name Phoenix from the mythological Egyptian bird, a symbol of immortality and resurrection, which dies so that a new Phoenix may emerge from its ashes.” Thereby putting Phoenix as the tradition of the story. Phoenix's mindset is to live and help those in need, therefore when she dies her traditions move along as well. This has her grandson as the new Phoenix when her time comes to an end.

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Representation of Traditions in A Worn Path. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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