Race and Racism
– No one in the story is actually rude or discriminatory
towards Phoenix, but the subtle persecutions that
blacks suffer in a white world is clearly shown.
• Example: A white hunter helps her out of a ditch but
patronizes her and trivializes her journey: "I know you old
colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa
• He taunts her by pointing his loaded gun at her and asking,
"Doesn't the gun scare you?“
• These are the typical views of many Southern whites during
the era.


The struggle between the husband and wife pits
peaceful fantasy (the man) vs. harsh realism (the
Example: The husband stakes claim to the realistic
answers expected by the psychiatrist and the
police after the wife ironically repeats the
husband's earlier fantastic claims.

Duty and Responsibility
• Phoenix Jackson makes the journey to town because
of her sense of duty to her grandson.
– She is the only person her grandson has to rely on—"We is
the only two left in the world," she tells the nurse.

• Her sense of responsibility makes her determined to
overcome all the obstacles during the journey.
– Phoenix relates her determination with a sense of urgency
to the hunter: she tells the hunter: "I bound to go to town,
mister.... The time come around."

• The nurse has a duty and a responsibility to keep
giving Phoenix the medicine as long as she keeps
coming to get it.
– "the doctor said as long as you came to get it, you could
have it. But it's an obstinate case."

• The attendant gives Phoenix a nickel out of a
sense of duty because it is Christmas.

• The hunter and the young woman on the street
who help Phoenix also act out of duty, not out of
compassion or love.

Unicorn in the Garden
• Example: The wife uses harsh and sarcastic words whenever
her husband tries to explain about the unicorn.

"You are a booby," she said, "and I am going to have you put in
a booby-hatch

The Worn Path
• Example:Eventhough the hunter helps Phoenix , he stil acts
rude towards her.

He taunts her by pointing his loaded gun at her and asking,
"Doesn't the gun scare you?“

Duty and Responsibility
Unicorn in the Garden
• Example: The husband has to prepare his own
breakfast and the wife is still sleeping.
The Worn Path
• Example: Phoenix is very responsible .She always
concern about her grandson.


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