In "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, how can the story's point of view be described? How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation?
The point of view in ‘A Worn Path’ can be described as “third-person, limited, objective”. That is, it is told from the point of view of a “third person”, a narrator who not themselves a character in the story; it is “limited” (as opposed to “omniscient”), describing only things seen and experienced by the protagonist; and it is “objective” (as opposed to “subjective”) describing appearances and events, but not the protagonist’s thoughts.
The effect of “limited” narration is to give a strong impression of what it is like to see things from the perspective of the protagonist. For example, when she comes across a scarecrow, it is described like this:
Then there was something tall, black, and skinny there, moving before her.
A first she took it for a man. It could have been a man dancing in the field. But she stood still and listened, and it did not make a sound. It was silent as a ghost.
“Ghost,” she said sharply, “who be you the ghost of? For I have heard of nary death close by.”
This conveys the threat to the protagonist inherent in the landscape—the figure of a man is dangerous to her—and her sense of the numinous, the possibility that she might meet the ghost of someone who recently died.
However, because the narration is objective, the reader gets no insight into what the protagonist is thinking or intending, except for what she says out loud or reveals through her actions and expressions. This allows Welty to preserve suspense as to why the protagonist is making this difficult and dangerous journey.