English Essay – A Journey
Aksel Magnus Skoven
A famous author once said, “to travel is to live”. That author was H.C. Andersen, and I believe he was referring to his travels around the world, which gave him the inspiration he needed to create his famous fairy tales, when he expressed the sentence. Andersen’s travels around the globe brought him to exotic locations such as Italy, Turkey and Greece, but his greatest journey, was the journey of his life. No holiday resort can compare to the journey of life that we all go through, and this is the premise of Colm Tóibín’s A Journey.
The characters of the short story represent the different stages of a life. First there is young David, whose character contains the innocence and curiousness of a child, “She was amused by his earnestness, but tried to treat him seriously and answer as well as she could”, but as the story progresses, we learn that David later develops the reserved and gloomy characteristics of a teenager, “Her mind began to slip back until she found that she was trying once again to pinpoint the day it had all started, the day she had first noticed that David had grown beyond their reach and become sullen and withdrawn”.
The characters of Mrs. Redmond and Mary represent the phase of midlife crisis, which many adults experience. Both face a drastic problem, but both also choose to focus on other things. Mary lives with a husband who has lost the will to live, and a son who has been diagnosed with severe depression, but instead of searching for a solution to her troubles, she pretends there is no problems at all, “Nonetheless, she wanted David to stay at home, no matter how grim his silences, no matter how many days he spent in his bed with the curtains drawn”.
In Mrs. Redmond’s case, it is the death of her husband that causes her to shift focus away from the problem at hand, and center on David instead, in search of the love and comfort her husband no longer can give her,...