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"The Journey, Not The Arrival, Matters" Nsw 2004 Paper 1

1064 words - 5 pages

It is the journey, not the arrival, that ultimately transforms the traveller - particularly for imaginative journeys, which often occur spontaneously and is undecided in its destination. The experiences one encounter during their travel/travail is what evolves them to better understanding of themselves and the world, inspires them to spiritual reform, which constitutes the educative and/or therapeutic qualities of the imaginative journey.While the philanthropic vision of Coleridge, in This Lime Tree Bower My Prison, and John Lennon, with his gentle utopianism in the song Imagine, articulate a milder, positive philosophy of such experiences, the murky and subterranean landscape of the human ...view middle of the document...

.. stirred and haunted". In both poems, it is the journey that's the transformative force that uplifts one from egotism to altruism, spiritual confinement to liberation, leaving us bathed in the light of his philosophical vision: the establishment of an emotional, metaphysical and spiritual unity between man and nature.Lennon's song, Imagine, operates on a less concrete level than Coleridge. It is the product of an age scarred by the atrocities of the World Wars, and communicates an intuitive need for peace. It envisions a world without the banes "countries", "religion", "property" which breed suffering and avarice. The opening imperative 'Imagine' coaxes the lister to go on a mind-clearing imaginative journey - a momentary change of perspective, and share his vision of this utopia. Coleridge propagates the spiritual & perceptive transformation by envision the friends emerging from the "o'erwooded, narrow, deep" dell (a pictorial symbol of self-pity, loneliness, confinement) into the "wide, wide heaven". While Imagine lacks such actualising imagery, its strength lies in its simplicity and abstraction, purporting the easy with which this journey is undertaken. While Coleridge comes to the conclusion: "no sound is dissonant which tells of life", Lennon doesn't realise the journey's destination, but simply encourages the act of journey as the transformation experience that will "make the world as one".Away from the positivism of Coleridge and Lennon are the harsher and equivocal journeys depicted in Atwood's and Leunig's texts: "Journey to the Interior" portrays an ambiguous persona probing and navigating the nightmarish territory of the inner psyche in order to gain greater understanding of the self. There's no destination, as the aside "have I been walking in circles again" debunks any grand claim to discovery/fulfilment. Contrary to the effortless trek inspired by bucolic natural landscapes that Coleridge portrays, Atwood's persona struggles through a vast, difficult terrain that shifts from "open prairies" to "a tangle of branches" - highlighting the fluidity of the imagination, and of one's identity - neither can be navigated, but only experienced to be comprehended. (This journey offers an equivocal...

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