Analysis Of Colm Tóibin's Short Story, A Journey

999 words - 4 pages

Life is a journey, a cycle. We start somewhere and end somewhere, we are on a round trip. We experience different seasons and grow both physically and mentally. But some point in life all of us realize that we want last, live forever. From a very early age on we are being told that we all one day will pass away and be buried in the ground. The short story:”A Journey”, written by Colm Tóibin, takes us on a journey together with a young boy called David and his mother Mary.

The short story, A Journey, starts off in a dialogue, in medias res, between the son and his mother, where we also are introduced to a 3 rd person narrator. The story contains flashbacks, which are being told through the mothers point of view. ”... but random images of places in the past kept coming to her, and there was nothing she could do to stop them … She saw the portrait of her mother hung after she died in the unused musty parlour over her father's shop in Ferns.” In the introduction the reader is told that David was born after twenty years of marriage and him being the only child. Mary and Seamus actually gave up hope of ever having a child but suddenly Mary got pregnant and David was born. The story deals both with birth and death, two main elements in the theory of the ”cycle of life”. We also find elements in the story that refer to religion and Christianity. ”well, God talk your soul because he loves you.” The story takes place in the country side with a small church and a small country national school, where Seamus, Davids father, had been principal.

As a young boy David was very curious and he asked his mum allot of question, like all four/five year olds do. He was often babysit by Mrs. Redmond and started to get a close bond to her. The connection between the two of them was closer than between him and his mother.”Often, when Mary, his mother, went down to the cottage to collect him, he did not want to go out.” At an very early age he pondered upon death. Later, as he turned into an adult he got a serious depression. He even enrolled into a hospital in order to receive treatment for it. Maybe he has a tendency to be obsessed with negative aspects of life such as death, or he could have genetic causes, since his grandma hung herself, probably due to depression. “She saw the portrait of her mother hung after she died in the unused musty parlour over her father's shop in Ferns.” On their way home to Seamus, Mary tries to start a conversation with her son, but he refuses to talk to her. He wants to remain in silence, something that possibly comforts him, but makes her feel uneasy. Deep down inside she wishes that everything could be as in the old days. She lives somehow in her past, since her mind often...

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