A Journey A Life is all abort accepting how our lives have turned out. Sometimes life makes us wonder whether we have made the right decisions or not. All the decisions life throws at us is only to make us stronger as a person. After we have made a big decision all of us come do doubt whether we have chosen the right thing to do. This mental journey of self-assessment is what the protagonist, Mary, experiences in the short story ” A Journey” by Colm Toibin from 2006
Mary has had a hard life, she has seen how hard can be, she has a clinically depressed son, and a paralyzed husband and during the long drive back from the hospital whith her son in the back seat, she think about how her life has turned out to be. The story is told by a limited third person narrator, and seen from the mother, Mary’s point of view. By observing Mary’s thoughts, it becomes easy to see how much her choices in life has meant to her and how much she still think about them.
Especially when it comes to the son’s diseases – it is something she is very concerned with. Her main concern is whether she and her husband had something to do with his condition. “ Were they to blame, she and Seamus, and in what way, for the fact that their twenty-year-old son whom she was driving home from the hospital had spent the last seven months there suffering from silence, as she called it; the doctors called itdepression” Mary searches her memory to find answers to the many questions she had build op in her mind though the years.
Through a number of flashbacks she is trying to find some clues as to what could be the cause of her and David’s condition. It is questions like whether Mary and Seamus perhaps gas spent to little time at home while Mrs. Redmond babysat David, and whether hey should not have sold the old shop. Mary and Davis’s relationship is tens; Mary is trying to break the ice between them by asking David for a cigarette. The relationship between them develops throughout the journey from the hospital.
Even though Mary has made some wrong decisions in life, she does not complain about it, but she tries to repair her relationship with her son. Mary is stopped in her life as she stops the car, and she is now trying to change things, starting with the relationship with his son. This goes hand in hand with the poem Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters’ from 1916. In the poem the speaker also talks about how she has lived her life, and how there has been good times and bad times. She has enjoyed her life, but she has still lost eight of her twelve children.
Lucinda argues that you have to take charge of your life and take the good times with the bad. As she finishes her poem, “ it takes life to love life” When she decides to stop the car, she finally makes a breakthrough in theircommunication. Mary is not only using this mental journey to think about her son, but also about her life with her husband, whom she thought she knew. Once again she thinks back on her life with Seamus and thinks about all the happy times they had together.
Seamus is much like David, he does not give her any attention. The thoughts Mary deals with in regards to her son and husband are very well illustrated in Andrew Sean Greer’s The Story of a Marriage from 2008. “ We think we know the ones we love […] But what we love turns out to be a poor translation a translation we ourselves have made, from a language we barely know” She feels that they ignore her and do not appreciate her, not only by her by husband, but also by her son.
Mary is moving one step closer to taking her fate into her own hands. Finally it dawns on Mary, that no matter how many downs you have in life, it will still be her life. And when her life has not come to an end yet, she is forced to take her life into her own hands and decide whether she will live life with two people who do not show their love for her or whether she will take a decision to live a life alone. We as readers do not know the ultimate ending to the short story, as it is an open ending.
It is up to the reader to decide how it should end. B Flashback is one way for the author to tell whether an episode has happened in the past that has significance for the present. It gives us as readers a better understanding of why Mary thinks like she does. The flashbacks in “ A Journey” are not very long, but despite that they give away a lot of information. Some of Mary’s flashback shows a life withhappiness, but some of them do also show a life with difficultness.
The first flashback, we get in the short story is when you get an insight into David’schildhoodfrom Mary’s point of view. Because we see it from Mary’s point of view we need to make our own impressions. The flashbacks deals with the important things in her life, most of them are a contrast to how her life has become. The Flashback is about her dead mother in her father’s old shop, the rather pleasant experience of taking care of here father on his deathbed, and joyous occasions with her son and husband.
Some of the flashback shows a life with happiness, but some of them do also show a life with difficultness. An example of a one of the positive flashback could be when she imagined the time where her father bought a house to her and Seamus. This flashback shows us that she had a wonderful life with Seamus before he got sick “ She pictured as well their first sighting of the old two-story house beside the school that her father had bought for them when they got married. She remembered the atmosphere inside the house the day they went to look at it […]”
All the flashback, we get in the story come on the trip home from the hospital with her son. She sees herself in him and want him to get out of his little shell, so he can experience the wonderful world we actually live in. She knows how it feels to live a hard life. She got over her mother’s death, so he need to get over his father’s illness – If it is the reason why he is so mentally closed. ———————–  P. 1 L 30-33  p 6 l. 22 Text 2  P 7. L 1-3 text 3  P 2. L 55