The Journey, Not the Arrival, Matters

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Essay: ‘The Journey, not the Arrival Matters'

Journey is a multilayered process, which is inevitable in ones lifetime. Whilst journeys can be inner or physical it is our imagination that enables us to escape into new worlds and visualize new possibilities. These imaginative journeys occur in the realm of the mind where fantasy is created and reality is considered. The human capacity to dream and transcend actual existence often opens amazing possibilities. It is through imagination, speculation and inspiration that the exploration of new worlds, possibilities and human potential is achieved. In their own ways imaginative journeys often have a connection with our lives and the practical world. In some cases journeys are even used as parallels to reality and to comment on social and human traits. However in all texts, one element prevails; that is that the journey is of greater significance than the arrival. Texts that help explore this and the poems ‘Frost at midnight' and ‘Kubla Khan' by Samuel T Coleridge, Imagine by John Lennon and ‘Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.

In the poem ‘Kubla Khan', imagery is also important for Coleridge to convey his imagination and exploration of the land to the reader and consequently takes on the journey across Xanadu. There are images of paradise throughout the poem that are combined with references to darker, more evil places. Coleridge's image of the ‘dome of pleasure' is mystical, contradicting the restrictions of realism. Xanadu is also a savage and ancient place where pure good and pure evil are much more apparent than in the monotony of everyday living. The first stanza has a definite rhythm and beat and describes the beauty and sacredness of Xanadu with rich, sensual and exotic images of the river Alph. This is allowed through the personification given to Alph as it flows ‘through caverns measureless to man' and ‘down to the sunless sea'. As this poem is incomplete the journey therefore is...
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