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A Worn Path vs. The Rocking-Horse

A Worn Path vs. The Rocking-Horse

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Published by: Jorgito Luis Fernández DeJesús on May 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 A Worn Path vs. The Rocking-Horse Winner 
 While a person reads different stories can notice that different stories, even thoughthey are not similar in plot, they have similarities in terms of their theme, setting or otherelements of a short story. But not only this, readers can determine the style of the authorand associate it with the others. The author of 
 A Worn Path
, Eudora Welty is influenced bySouthern United States in her writings, and in this short story it can be deduced because shementions some supporting details. In this story, one example of a detail that supports thisstyle is when Eud
ora Welty used the sentence, “Far out in the country, there was an old Negro woman… (p 91)”, as well as the voca
bulary used by the characters. On the other
hand, David Lawrence’s
The Rocking-Horse Winner 
has a very familiar centered style.Style can affect the other elements of an essay.The setting of 
 A Worn Path
starts in some woods during a chilly morning of December day, it
continues to develop there and ends in a nursery where Phoenix Jackson’s
grandson was supposed to be; this action took about one day. Welty mentions these detailsin the story and does not leave it to the reader to deduce them. It is also developed inChri
stmas time, because the reason David J. Piwinski states, “The presence of a mistletoe
in this story, in addition to providing another Christmas image and a symbol of 
immortality…” (
40). The setting is very important to the story because it is easier todetermine the conflict and theme of the story, and is very related to the title. In
The Rocking-Horse Winner 
, the action takes months and the details of the setting are shown justa few times; it takes place mostl
y on Paul’s house because that
is where the rocking-horseis; but in a part of the story, the author mentions some action taking place in a seaside. Theplace of the setting is important because it is the home of the main character who wants tohelp his family, but not because the rocking-horse is there because it could be anywhere.
The only similarities between both stories are the importance of the setting in thedevelopment of the plot and that both authors mention it. The first story,
 A Worn Path
,takes only one day while the other and its almost completely developed in outdoors;
 A Rocking-Horse Winner 
, takes months and it is mostly developed in indoors.In
 A Worn Path
the main conflict is Man vs. Nature, because Phoenix Jackson waslost in the woods while in search of her grandson to deliver him some medicines to cure histhroat disease caused by an accidental swallowing of lye a few years before. There is alsoan example of a Man vs. Man conflict when Phoenix Jackson encounters the hunter anddeals with him because he wanted to take her nickel, and one example of Man vs. Himself when the old lady recognizes that she has problems with memory. While in
 A Rocking- Horse Winner 
, the main conflict is Man vs. Man because Paul has an unlucky family interms of money because their lifestyles exceed their income. But there is also Man vs.Himself conflict present when Paul feels disappointed because he knows that if he gives hismother the money, she will spend it the wrong way. Other conflicts present in this story areMan vs. Supernatural because Paul thinks that if he rides his rocking-horse very fast he willget lucky and be able to predict which horse will win the race; and Man vs. Supernatural,when the mother tells Paul that God never tells if someone is lucky or not.
Both stories’
main conflicts are related to family issues; in
 A Worn Path
, it is the grandmother with hergrandson, and in
 A Rocking-Horse Winner 
, Paul with his family. In each one, the maincharacter tries to solve the conflict for the benefit of another character. They differ in theaspect that in
 A Worn Path
the grandson is affected by the conflict, but he does not appearin the plot as her grandmother does, it is not even clear if he is alive, as Greg Bsarnhisel
states, “A number of critics have questioned whether or not Jackson’s grandson is even
Although in
 A Rocking-Horse Winner 
, many members of the family that are affectedby the conflict appear in the story.
 A Worn Path
main theme is responsibility. Phoenix Jackson is very devoted to tryto reach the place where her grandson is to give him his medicine, although she encountersa lot of obstacles in the way. She feels that is her responsibility as a grandmother to takecare of her needed grandson, but she is not so capable to make it, because she has physicallimitation and she suffers of loss of memory. In
 A Rocking-Horse Winner 
responsibility canbe the main theme too. Paul feels is very convinced that he must help his family with itseconomical problem and the only way he found to do this is by playing luck games. In thisway he started to gain money because of the luck that supposedly his rocking-horse gavehim when he rode it very fast; this urge to help caused him death. Again, both stories arebased in the family concept, and the responsibility of helping familiars as a member of it.The fact that family is the main theme of 
a Rocking-Horse Winner 
is confirmed byElisabeth Piedmont when she states
, This fable about a boy’s doomed attempts to satisfyhis mother’s desires and win her love also provides Lawrence the opportunity to work out
one of the themes that dominate his entire body of work, the relationship between mothers
and sons.”
This theme is not presented the same way in each story, in
 A Worn Path
responsibility comes from the grandmother to her grandson, and in
 A Rocking-HorseWinner 
, the son tries to take responsibility of bringing the income to his home because theone that is produced by her parents is misused.
Euroda’s Welty
 A Worn Path
and D.H. Lawrence’s
The Rocking Horse Winner 
aretwo stories whose main theme is family.
Even though, these author’s styles are so different,
this similarity makes it easier to analyze, compare and contrast them. Each one presents onemember of a family trying to help family despite of the obstacles in the way. For example,

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