Synthesis Task Essay

1861 words - 7 pages

Area of Study Synthesis TaskThe process of a physical journey is often filled with significant experiences that provide growth opportunities for the individuals involved. While the connotation of a journey differ from one person to the next, the experiences are never neutral.Various composers have represented different perspectives of journeys. Peter Skrzynecki explored the physical and emotional journeys of migrants in his poems "Migrant Hostel" and "Immigrants at Central Station - 1951". Kenneth Graham, in his novel "The Wind And The Willows" illustrates different reactions to journey from the known to the unknown. This idea is also explored in Robyn Davidson's feature article "The Getting There" as she explains how the process of climbing the Himalayas was so enriching for her. The personal development that comes from physical journeys is illustrated in Joe Turtel's film "Cool Runnings".Through these texts it has been possible to examine a range of different journeys and the impact they have on those who undertake them.Peter Skrzynecki's poem "Migrant Hostel" portrays the difficulties experienced by migrants as they journey towards a new life in Australia. The experiences of the migrants in the poem reflect the poet's experiences as a child when he immigrated to Australia with his parents. For many of these migrants, the physical journey across the sea is only part of the long process of emotional, social, cultural and economic challenges they face. The first stanza of the poem describes the "arrivals of newcomers" and the lack of security they feel. They are left "wondering who would be coming next" which suggests the transient nature of the hostel. Their lack of social stability is illustrated in the way "nationalities sort each other out" looking for comfort among those with similar cultures. The concept of an ongoing journey is suggested through the image of "a homing pigeon". This simile is extended to the third stanza where the migrants are described as living "like birds of passage" as they journey from one side of the world to the other "sensing a change" in their lives. The fact that they are "unaware of the season" reinforces their insecurity. In the last stanza of the poem the metaphor of "a barrier at the main gate" reinforces the migrant's feelings of powerlessness. The barrier represents their physical and emotional confinement to the hostel. In the final lines of the stanza the poet suggests the migrants have mixed feeling about the hostel. For some it represents a new life "that had only begun" while others "were dying" because of the hardships of their journey. The idea that the migrant's journey is a stage by stage process is explored in "Immigrants at Central Station - 1952". This poem represents one more stage in the journey towards a new life.Skrzynecki focuses of the continuing journey of migrants in his poem "Immigrants and Central Station - 1951". He writes in the past-tense which creates a reflective tone suggesting...

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