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Journey to the Interior by Margaret Atwood.

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Introduction

Journey to the Interior Journey to the Interior by Margaret Atwood is a journey to the unknown, a journey within. This poem describes the human psyche by comparing it to the Canadian environment and natural landscape. Journey to the Interior is an inner journey of self discovery. The title 'Journey to the Interior' implies of a journey from the exterior reality to the inner depths of the human psyche. In historical times this phrase would imply the discovery of a new land, venturing into the unknown which could involve danger. This idea is similar in this poem, Margaret Atwood is delving into the mysteries of the human mind, uncertain and apprehensive "many have been here, but only some have returned safely". The first stanza talks of the similarities between the human psyche and the environment.

Middle

This stanza introduces some strange images to the responder; "your shoe among the brambles under the chair where it shouldn't be" this appears to be a domestic image, but when examining the definition of brambles we discover that this image is not normal. This line is then followed by other surreal images "a sentence crossing my path", these are distractions preventing her from seriously examining her inner self. She knows she must not take herself, her journey, too serious because "the danger: many have been here, but only some have returned safely". Here she is saying how others have tried to explore their psyche and as a consequence have become lost in themselves and their inner psyche - this consumption is not in vain rather a neurotic, desperate and depressive experience.

Conclusion

There is no flowing rhythm through the lines, the poet's thought continues throughout lines which disorientates the reader, the rhythm is also unsettling. The use of the first person pronoun "I" makes the poem personal and individual. The use of this pronoun is not intrusive though, it could be anybody - the universal "I". The atmosphere seems surreal. The poet shares her experiences in a strangely matter of fact tone, there is no surprise or astonishment - although there are questions the poet does not seem fazed by the occurrences. Margaret Atwood attempts to chart the dark mystery that is ourselves in this poem, The Journey to the interior. She uses irregularity in rhythm, visual and sound imagery to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and danger. Atwood effectively examines the journey of the human psyche by comparing it to familiar landscapes.

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