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”a Journey” by Colm Tóibin

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jath
Words 1238
Pages 5
Struggle between past and present
For some people the easiest way to avoid reality might be to hold on to the past – but we will need to realize the present and accept it later on in life. For how long can we keep on holding to the past – before reality bits us?
The short story ”A Journey” by Colm Tóibin is a story about a woman called Mary, who struggles with accepting reality and therefore she has been holding on to the past for too many years. Through a physical and mental journey Mary undergoes a progress, which will change her life in the future as it gives her some challenges.
Basically, the story takes place in a car, while Mary and her son, David, drive home from the hospital, where David has been admitted for suffering with depression. At home her husband, Seamus, is waiting for them in his bed as his right side of the body is paralyzed. On their way home Mary starts thinking about a lot of things, which leads to some flashbacks, which are mostly the foundation of the story.
The story has a third person narrator, who has only insight to Mary’s thoughts and thereby a lot of flashbacks. Therefore it is possible to say that the composition of the story is not chronological – even the first statement about David is a flashback (p. 2 ll. 1-8), which is followed by Mary’s general thoughts about earlier time. Afterwards the story takes place in the present, where Mary and David are sitting in the car. Sometimes these flashbacks make the storyline confusing – as it jumps around in the time. The confusing mix of past and present is a way to illustrate, how Mary is confused and not able to separate the present from the past.
As the story goes forward the reader gets more information about Mary through many flashbacks to her past and her thoughts. At the same time many different things as a narrow road (p. 2 ll. 27-28); a Protestant cathedral (p. 4 l. 112),…...

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