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Social Anxiety In "Barn Burning" By William Faulkner, "The Man Who Was Almost A Man" By Richard Wright And, "A Worn Path" By Eudora Welty

997 words - 4 pages

According to the Social Anxiety Network, "Social anxiety is a fear of social situations and the interaction with other people." Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression. People with social anxiety may know that their anxiety is irrational and does not make "head" sense. Nevertheless, "knowing" something is not the same thing as "believing" and "feeling" something. Social anxiety is a major factor in the stories: "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner, "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" by Richard Wright and, "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty.First, in ...view middle of the document...

Sartoris is an example of social anxiety because of the fear that he may become like his father.Second, Eudora Welty's short story "A Worn Path" deals with a very elderly and frail black woman, Phoenix, and the hardships in her life. Phoenix makes a periodic journey into town to obtain medicine for her grandson. Phoenix has made this journey so many times that she can do it by a kind of interior radar, and thus her mind is free to wander while her feet stay on track. Inside of Phoenix is a lifetime of hardship, brought about partially by her role in society: she is an old black woman in a white world, and she is cast into an inferior position in a world that considers her unimportant. A hunter she meets treats her patronizingly, calling her "Granny" and says he knows "old colored people" go to town to see Santa Claus (Welty 868). Both the lady who ties her shoes for her and the first attendant at the clinic call her "Grandma" (Welty 869). The attendant rudely asks if she is deaf because Phoenix does not immediately reply to her questions, and from that point on, she treats Phoenix as if she is stupid. Phoenix's path is worn not only because she herself has had to travel it so many times, but because it symbolizes the path traveled by poor and oppressed people everywhere. Phoenix is an example of social anxiety because of the fear of her social status and her life situation.Third, the story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" by Richard Wright uses symbolism to describe the true meaning of the story. Dave, the main character, is illustrated fumbling through life...

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