Phoenix Jackson is an elderly African-American female protagonist in the short story "A Worn Path," who undertakes a heroic journey from her home to the city of Natchez to acquire medicine for her sick grandson. The narrative, which was first published in 1940 in The Atlantic Monthly, describes her arduous journey using different literary devices, such as simile, allegory, allusions and metaphor.
Phoenix Jackson's quest to procure medicine is the main focus of the story. On her journey, she encounters various obstacles, such as animals, thorns and bushes. Her struggles due to her old age are reflected in a poetic and symbolic manner. The main themes of the story are love, sacrifice, care and hardship.