The Way Journeys And Imaginative Journeys Are Communicated In Two Of The Stimulus Book Items 2004 "The Ivory Trail" And "Journey Into The Interior"

1338 words - 6 pages

A journey is the distance travelled in a specified time from one place to another, whether this place is physical, inner or imagined. Imaginative journeys occur in a fantasy world, where the reader or character goes on the journey, and in the case of the character having an imaginative journey, the reader also learns from this experience. Through different mediums and techniques, "The Ivory Trail" and "Journey into the Interior" are able to communicate imaginative journeys each in its own fashion.The title of the book, 'The Ivory Trail' itself implies a journey. The word 'trail' connotes a winding, uncertain path through the wild and unknown. One of the most obvious journeys represented in the visual is the literal or physical journey. But underlying this The Ivory Trail could be also seen as an imaginative journey, depicted through the use of numerous visual techniques.Firstly, the medium itself is used in depicting an imaginative journey. Although the book cover is construed of real photographs, the glossiness of the material, and the integration of computer graphics used in creating the face of the young boy merged with the patterns of sand generates an unreal and illusionary world to the responder's view, contributing to produce an imaginative feel to the world of the young protagonist.The compositional features of the text employ representations of a sphinx, a pyramid, a building with Islamic architecture, desert sands and an adolescent boy's face. These images have connotations of ancient worlds, mystery and the exotic. This allows the responder to visualise the protagonist's physical as well as the imaginative journey through his perspective. The presence of the pyramid denotes a past setting, while the use of the sand represents the vastness and flowing of time, both the sand and the pyramids reveal to the responder that the journey may involve going into the past of time and preservation, adding a sense of endlessness to the journey.The lighting and the dominant colours of the photograph also aids in depicting this imaginative journey. The excessive use of the colour red signifies with the desert, the heat and the Sun, while the predominant colour of black denotes a mood of mystery and intrigue surrounding the places shown in the photograph, establishing a sense of spirituality and mysticism which the boy is experiencing, further revealing his imaginative journey towards the unknown. The use of lighting, seen in the special light that bathes the figure of the sphinx and which also shines on the young boy, and the sun as seen in the background, denotes a connection between the boy, the sphinx and the sun, as if symbolic of illuminating a light of 'path' directed towards him, establishing the effect of creating a journey whether it be physical or imaginary, in which the boy 'channels' through times and continents. The sharp brightness of the colour red also creates an unnatural and artificial atmosphere to the visual, which gives the responder the impression that this world is only imaginary.The juxtaposition and size of the objects is also a tool used to portray the imaginative journey. The face of the boy captures the majority of the space of the visual, while the pyramids in the middle background and the tableaux situated in the background become smaller in size. This creates the effect of stages within a journey, in which the boy is the beginning and he embarks on a physical and imaginative journey through each stage or 'phase' of his voyage.Finally the use of non-verbal features. The by-line of the visual 'not all journeys have an ending' links in with the word 'trail', both of these words hold similar meaning which implies that this journey does not necessarily have a final destination or end but that it is what one learns along this journey that truly matters. Thus the responder is able to see that this journey is not a physical one but one of imagination. The enlargement of the word 'trail' in capital letters as compared with the word 'ivory' further emphasizes the significance of this imaginative journey that the boy takes.While "The Ivory Trail" creates an eager anticipation and curiosity to embark on the imaginary journey, Margaret Atwood's "Journey to the Interior" relates to the fear of transformation and the speculation of the obstacles of a journey into the imagination of the mind.The medium of poetry in free form allows the poet freedom to create an abstract and meaningful understanding to the audience of the complexity of the psychological exploration of the self. Atwood also succeeds on taking us on an imaginative journey through the use of her intricate and descriptive imagery to take the responder on the imaginative journey and allows the responder to question how we would go about facing difficult journeys in our own lives.Atwood begins the imaginative journey within the human psyche with the use of a wild landscape as an extended metaphor. Words such as 'hills', 'prairies', 'trees', 'swamps' and 'cliffs' create the image of land that is difficult to cross, in relation to the obstacles of this imaginative journey. Furthermore, the use of the oxymoron 'net of air' illustrates the idea that a person can be physically restricted but by intangible forces, emphasizing the power of the psychological barriers upon this imaginative journey within.The wild landscape becomes contrasted with a more domestic landscape of shoes, chairs, knives and tables, which illustrates how the smallest details are used as a way of stopping the discovery of the imagination. The use of the rhetorical question, 'have I been walking in circles again?' shows the domestic routine of life and the stagnation of imagination that it causes. The use of the word "again," implies that distractions within journeys are common, and hence there is often need for re-evaluation and the re-establishment of a focus. It also highlights the understanding that Atwood realises the need to instigate journeys into the imagination and that obstacles are created by oneself.One of the main techniques to convey the imaginative journey is through the use of the extended mapping metaphor. The constant use of the mapping metaphor creates a sense of movement, in search of the destination. However, "Compasses," "Posts" are demonstrated to be useless to aid in reaching the destination which conveys a sense of fantasy as well as illustrates the chaos and bewilderment of the imaginative journey. However, it is a deliberate, cool mental process which is reflected in the rational approach, perhaps an indication that the goal is able to be reached despite the chaos.There is deliberate line break, enjambment used for emphasis throughout the poem. The prose piece ends without the use of a full stop. This deliberate lack of punctuation demonstrates the idea that there is no ending and possibilities are endless once a journey into the imagination is instigated. Thus Atwood illustrates through Journey to the Interior that people instigate their own obstacles due to a fear of transforming from undergoing an imaginative journeyThrough the effective use of different poetic and visual techniques, "the Ivory Trail" and "The Journey Within" is able to communicate their different perspectives of the imaginative journey.


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