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”Travelling Shoes” and ”Mr. Curly Transports Wayfaring Pilgrims Away” Essay Sample

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”Travelling Shoes” and ”Mr. Curly Transports Wayfaring Pilgrims Away” Essay Sample

Similar to the concept of travelling is the multifaceted and subjective ideal of the journey. Although the following texts illustrate varying concepts and different themes, they demonstrate central ideas of physical journeys. Therefore through a comprehensive analysis we can establish that travel exposes a change that is permanently fixed within the ideals of living.

One text that represents physical journeys is ‘Travelling Shoes’ by Lenore Horowitz. The text is in the form of a poem and describes the positive effects and individual growth brought about by physical journeys. The poem is broken into two stanzas; the first describes the journey while the second stanza highlights the reflective phase of the journey.

In the first stanza, the composer writes of the obstacles that were faced. The title is a metaphor, which is used to explore her achievements and development. Horowitz uses imagery to describe the physical environment, for example, ‘climbed mountains’, ‘slogged through rainforests’. The effect of this is to demonstrate the endurance needed to confront the journey, giving a realism aspect to the poem in the process; and to highlight the obstacles that were faced during the journey. In the process, the composer embodies the notion that ‘travel is more than seeing sights’.

The composer writes that her obstacles were overcome ‘mostly in the dark’. This is a metaphor, as it intends to mean that she had no prior experience. The effect of this is to highlight that experience is an integral part of the journey and with it comes individual growth. The composer also highlights how the shoes protected her from ‘missteps and downfalls’, demonstrating how the shoes gave the composer comfort. The metaphor of the shoes illustrates her emotional and mental growth as the journey progressed; and at the same time tells us that journeys provide opportunities to extend ourselves in these ways.

The physical journey portrayed in this poem also results in an inner journey. Throughout the poem, the use of 1st person demonstrates that this is a personal and reflective account of the journey. The inner journey is also recognized when the composer realizes she ‘went the distance’, one that she ‘needed to go’, where she ‘found things’ she didn’t know she was looking for. The composer is implying that she has completed her journey and is reflecting upon the growth and experience it has given her. Through this we can establish that physical journeys can impact and influence inner journeys that are often intricately connected; and in the process establish that travel is permanent within the ideals of living.

Through the use of rich, poetic and emotive language the composer has effectively described her journey. Through this, the audience has been able to picture the journey in their minds and also apply aspects of the poem to their own journeys. This poem is a wonderful example of the positives that are associated with journeys; and is a fascinating example of the mental and emotional growth and maturity that results from physical journeys. This text certainly agrees that travel exposes a change that is permanent within the ideals of living.

‘Mr. Curly Transports Wayfaring Pilgrims Away’ by Michael Leunig contrasts with travelling shoes, giving a negative view of the journey. It centers on Mr. Curly, who is making a journey to escape from the chaotic and consumer driven world It depicts him leaving it behind and travelling to a better world. The composer’s view is illustrated using a humorous medium that appeals to a greater audience as it is in a subtle and supplicating form of a cartoon.

Mr. Curly is featured rescuing travelers from the rest of the world, it says he is taking them to Lake Lacuna, a place of sanity. Irony is evident here, with the word Lacuna meaning something that is not there, meaning there is no such thing as sanity. Therefore the journey is without purpose and they will have to go back to reality. This reinforces that the journey will ultimately fail and highlights that their journey is futile; and also challenges the underlying assumption that journeys are fun and enjoyable. Thus in the process illustrates that travelling is permanent within the ideals of living.

Humour is a constant theme throughout the cartoon. The contrast of the phrase ‘large uncontrollable forces…’ and the innocent image of a ‘little goat drawn cart…’ undermines the seriousness of the message and create humorous relief from the harsh reality displayed. The composer is reinforcing that we cannot escape the issues and the journey will ultimately fail. Leunig highlights that journeys are a necessity for change, even if it is a negative one; and reinforces that traveling is more than seeing sights but rather a change within the ideals of living.

The expressions of hope and optimism on the traveler’s faces illustrate that journey’s ultimately mean change in a person’s life. Colour is also used effectively to contrast between the consumer driven world and the ‘place of sanity’. A change in colour from right to left, darkness to bright light, symbolizes that they will not escape the ‘major issues’. It is indicative of his need to escape from the oppressive world, emphasizing that the journey is a necessity that brings about positive effects. This illustrates human kind’s never-ending search for something better, life is a constant quest for perfection and sanity; emphasizing that change is permanent within the ideals of living.

Although the text incorporates many positive aspects of journeys, such as hope and optimism, its underlying message is one of melancholy, with failure the ultimate result. It challenges many aspects of the journey and is critical of our search for perfection; it implies that the journey is a dream rather a reality. Along with ‘Travelling Shoes’ both texts demonstrate the needs and effects of physical journeys through different mediums. Through a rigorous analysis of these two texts, it can be asserted that travel and indeed the journey, is more than just the seeing of sights; it is a change that is permanent in the ideas of living.





maquarie revision guide, 2004

‘how to write an english essay’, penguin, 1982

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