Phoenix Jackson and the Modern Day Woman Essay A phoenix is a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope; a person or thing of peerless beauty or excellence; a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation; A person or thing regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect. Eudora Welty, in her character Phoenix Jackson, creates humanitys counterpart of the phoenix firebird from oriental tradition (Wampler 4 June 2013). Although Phoenix Jackson can not lay claim to the immortality manifested by consuming fiery rebirths (as does the mythological bird), she possesses a fiery spirit and is consumed by love for her grandchild (Wampler 4 June 2013). Phoenix Jackson is wise, confident, fearless, tenacious, courageous, and has a clear goal in mind, which is to get her grandsonâ€™s medicine despite any obstacle that she may face. Phoenix Jackson can be summed up in one word which is noble. All women should have the characteristics of Phoenix Jackson but some of those characteristics are being lost with the evolving society. Phoenix Jackson is an elderly African American woman walking into town on a cold winter morning to get medicine for her sick grandson. One aspect of Phoenixâ€™s likeness to the mythical phoenix is their journey before they die. The Natchez Trace is an old highway that runs from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi (Natchez Trace 27 May 2013). By 1800 it was the busiest in the American South (Natchez Trace 27 May 2013). Phoenix lives â€œa way back off the Old Natchez Trace,â€ which indicates that the journey along with the fact that it is December is difficult for her (A Worn Path n. d. ). The obstacles she faces shows how deeply she cares and sacrifices for her grandson. At the end, when we are told she â€œbegan on the stairs, going downâ€ it indicates that she is faced with a return journey as difficult as the one she has just completed (A Worn Path n. d. ). She is also between 80-100 years old which further magnifies the intensity of her journey and the tragic situation of her grandsonâ€™s dependence on her. Like many people who have lived to be Ms. Jacksons age, they gain strength from the years of trials and experiences in their lives. Ms. Jackson was unschooled, black and a woman who grew up during the depression and slavery years. This along with her many years on earth have made her cautious, strong willed and driven. Phoenixs appearance is yet another aspect of her likeness to the phoenix. At the beginning of the story, Phoenix is described as having a golden color [running] underneath [her skin], and the two knobs of her cheeks were illuminated by a yellow burning under the dark (A Worn Path n. d. ). Welty further describes Phoenixs hair as being tied back in a red rag (A Worn Path n. d. ). These images cannot be taken to be a mere coincident as the phoenix from the ancient Egyptian legend is described as having a beautiful red and gold plumage. Furthermore, Phoenixs eyes are said to be blue with age (A Worn Path n. d. ). This description is the first of many that give an indication of her age. The phoenix is a bird that matures to an extreme age before it bursts into flame and is reborn from the ashes. Welty also employs some rather unusual imagery, in which she describes Phoenixs skin as having a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead (A Worn Path n. d. ). All of these ties back in with the age the phoenix grows to. During the 1940â€™s womenâ€™s roles and expectations in society were changing rapidly. Previously women had very little say in society and were stereotyped to stay home, have babies, to be a good home maker and wife. Modern day women have it so easy compared to women in the 1940â€™s. Women today have many career opportunities that were not open to women of the 20th century. In fact, the great majority of women were illiterate because it was assumed that they didnt need to read if all the work they would do in life was raise children. Women of the 21st century have access to dozens of labor-saving devices that allow them to do housework in a fraction of the time that it took women in the olden days (Womenâ€™s Rights). Women today use birth control to plan the size of their families. Centuries ago, it was not unheard of for women to have 11 children, and childbirth was the single highest cause of death for women in their 20s and 30 (Womenâ€™s Rights). Women in these times live under a justice system that tries to stop domestic violence, whereas women in 1808 were the property of their husbands, who could do whatever they liked without penalty (Womenâ€™s Rights). No policeman or judge would ever think a man had done wrong if he had to beat his wife to get her to behave. Modern women control their own finances. Women two hundred years ago were unable to sign for a bank loan without a male consenting to co-sign (Womenâ€™s Rights). They were judged incapable of owning property, even to the point that any property that they brought with them into their marriage or inherited from their father was immediately transferred to the safe keeping of their husbands (Womenâ€™s Rights). If he then turned it into cash and invested it in a business deal that went bad, the wife had no recourse to recover the money. Women were only given the vote in 1920 (Womenâ€™s Rights). Before that, they had no say whatsoever in the laws that were passed that affected their lives. In a few ways, modern women have a harder time than women of yesteryear. Today some women move so far from home that their social and family networks break down. It appears that women living in the 21st century have it vastly easier than women of the 1940â€™s, although not in every case. Phoenix Jackson was a very rare woman during her time and she is unlike the modern women of today. Not many women today or even back then would do what she did for her grandson. Most women are focused on their careers and would send their husband or nanny to get the medicine for their child. Phoenix Jackson sacrificed a lot because of the love she had for her grandson. Phoenix Jacksons courage and tenacity are illustrated repeatedly as she faces crisis after crisis during her journey a frozen day in December, animals in the thicket, hills, thorny bushes, creeks, barbed-wire fences, a com field maze, superstition, a hunters gun, a tower of steps, her own forgetfulness, and failing physical healthall obstacles to be overcome (Wampler 4 June 2013). And thats what Phoenix Jackson does (Wampler 4 June 2013).
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Â Â Â Â Â The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was a book that we read in class, it was about good and evil. It is about how the to forces battle for superiority over one another. The book tells how one of the sides over powers the other to claim its spot on top. The people are like pawns to two of the characters, Archie and Brother Leon because they use the people to get what they want from them, and will stop at nothing to get it. Both of characters will stop at nothing to have what they want, which is to have the power over the school.
Â Â Â Â Â The good characters even though few in number are willing to go the distance (especially for Jerry). Jerry is the main character of the story. He has a struggle with in himself to do the right thing. He mess with the wrong people in the school and they make him pay for it, because no one can mess with the Vigils and get away with it. He was to refuse to take chocolates for ten days. However he still refuses to take the chocolates after the ten days. Brother Jacques is another one of the good guys because he sees that Brother Leon is truely an evil man and abuses his power the power that he has over the kids. He saves Jerry at the of the story from the boxing match. Goober is a good person with a big heart, but is not to smart to get out when in to deep helping Jerry to get out. All that he wanted to do was to play football and to run.
Â Â Â Â Â There is more of a power struggle among the evil side for them to want to work together. Archie is the Vigilsâ€™ Assigner giver. Archie has a struggle with Brother Leon and Carter. First a struggle with Leon because both are trying to carrie the power of the school. Second with Carter both trying to control the Vigils. Carter the president of the Vigils puts Archie on probation tries to stab him in the back at the boxing match using the black box. He smashes Jerry in practice every day just because he can do the. Brother Leon is a sadistic teacher because of the things that he does to the kid in his class, like when he put Bailey in front of the class and smacked him on the cheek with a pointer.
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