Journeys are essentially the only way to discover wisdom and often lead to a greater sense of self. ***
Journeys act as a medium to discovering new experiences, developing a greater personal insight along the way.
In imaginative journeys, power lies in the will of the individual to create their own path, where they can escape reality.
This notion is evident in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry, Margaret Atwood’s Journey to the Interior, Sean Tan’s picture book The Red Tree and in David Fincher’s imaginative film Fight Club.
Through the concept of imaginative journeys, Coleridge describes how the characters in each of his poems discover new wisdom for themselves by learning from experiences and achieving a greater sense of self.
Expressed in ballad form, his poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner explores the nature of crime and punishment and of recklessness and penance.
One of many references to god and religious symbols displayed throughout the poem is the albatross.
In slaying this “pious bird of good omen” the Mariner brings doom upon himself and his shipmates.
Colour imagery of a “copper sky” and a “bloody sun at noon” is used to describe the beginning of the bird’s death being avenged.
The poem is rich in figurative methods including the simple comparative technique of simile where the Mariner’s anguish is detailed when his eyeballs “like pulses beat.”
When Coleridge seeks to give authority to the elements he uses personification – “The sun came upon the left, out of the sea came he!”
Having spent time “Alone, alone, all all alone” in his period of isolation, the Mariner begins to embrace nature as he “blessed them unaware.”
This is a turning point in the poem as it marks a spiritual rebirth.
In this poem, the Mariner has embarked on a personal journey in which he discovered new wisdom and developed a greater sense of self. ***
This notion of self journey is also evident in Coleridge’s poem This Lime Tree Bower My Prison which explores the...