Poem Analysis: Journey of the Magi

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The Three Stages of the Magi
It is within the nature of humans to search for something greater than themselves. Man is continually on a journey of some form; whether it is for love, for fortune, or for a greater truth. Often when a person begins a journey they are forced to take a deep look at themselves, and are often permanently changed by what they find. T.S. Eliot's poem, "Journey of the Magi", describes their transition to spiritual enlightenment through three stages; the journey, the arrival, and the aftermath. The first stanza of the poem begins with the journey of the Magi. It starts in the negative connotation, with words such as; "cold", "long", and "dead." (1, 3, 5) Working parallel with the spirituality of the Magi at this time, they too are "cold" and "dead." Like many in the journey of life, they often question the purpose of their journey, believing "That this was a folly". (20) They are not sure if the journey will be worth the price they are paying. They give up "their liquor and women" to come, and at times "regretted" their journey. (12, 8) Although they have these things working against them, the Magi continue on with their journey, because they long for what might come at the end of their search. In the second stanza, after all of the inconveniences they endured, the Magi finally reach their destination, and find it "satisfactory." (31) The word "satisfactory" hints that what they found could not disappoint, because in order for it to be "satisfactory" there could be no fault. They found something worth all of their struggles. Also, the use of the word suggests to the reader that they are different. Eliot transitions from the negative word choice in the first stanza to the positive word of "satisfactory." This presents a change in their entire attitude; they no longer question the journey. The third stanza of the poem reveals to the reader the result of the Magi's journey. They are forced to change forever. They become dead to the

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