Robert Gray

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Composers often manipulate their chosen form of text to explore their concerns within the world. Throughout the poem The Late Ferry by Robert Gray the type of journey is seen to be long-term, emotional, confronting and challenging for individuals. Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree uses journey as being long-term, personal, confronting, emotional and mental. These are recognized by the usage of symbolism and metaphors.

Robert Grays The Late Ferry contains a large amount of symbolism through the duration of the poem. The symbolism is what gives the audience an idea of what the journey itself is and what type of journey it may be. In the 1st stanza we see this symbolism as a mother watching her child leave her and enter the real world on their own “The late ferry is leaving now; I stay to watch from the balcony as it goes up onto the huge dark harbor”. This is exploring journey through the child leaving their mother and getting about on their own now, therefore for the child it is a journey of coming of age.

Robert Gray can uncover journey to the audience by using light and darkness to juxtapose each other and showing what are the positive and negative times for the individual in this journey. The colour orange in stanza 4 is a symbolism for an element of hope. Hope that this individual will get used to be on their own and finding their way around through life “And out beyond the tomato stake patch of the yachts, with their orange lights” juxtaposed to the darkness symbolised in stanza 6 “the longer white feel nervously about in the blackness” this is also symbolic of a negative time as the person is nervous in a dark world trying to find the light to turn their world positive again. The technique shown in these quotes can be symbolism, juxtaposition and the re-occurring motif of the colour. This shows the audience when the journey can be great or when the journey can be tough. This is a way of Robert Gray showing his notion of journey in The Late Ferry.

Shaun Tan...
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