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Guided literary analysis on the piece "The Art of Travel"

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Name: Priyan Class: 5.06 Guided literary analysis: The Art of Travel This passage is about the idea of travelling. Throughout the passage, Alain expresses his views on travelling, mostly the monotony and disappointment of travelling, though claiming that he finds poetry and art in travelling, thus the title, ?The Art of Travel?. Art refers to creativity and imagination and despite describing the setting negatively, he still manages to see this beauty in it. Alain also makes use of great detailed description throughout passage. The writer expresses various views towards travelling, which can be seen to be gradually changing from the beginning of the passage to the end. In the very first sentence, the setting is described as a ?flat, featureless expanse of country?. This shows that writer felt that the place had no taste and colour at all, therefore implying a sense of monotony towards travelling. He could be referring to the boring hours of having been ?on the road?. ...read more.


Feeling dizzy is something that no one looks forward to and hence the writer could be trying to imply that travelling is not all that fun after all. In the fourth paragraph, the writer describes the inside of the service station, down to every detail. The sudden use of a short sentence, ?No one was talking?, emphasises on the silence and monotony of the setting. This suggests that the writer finds the idea of travelling very sad and monotonous. This can be seen once again when the writer claims there was ?an air of reflection, of sadness, too?. However, despite describing the service station as ?architecturally miserable? and tables as ?dotted with islands of dried ketchup? from previous travellers, the writer still manages to see something different that ?long-departed travellers? have not. He finds that ?something about the scene moved [him]?. He managed to find ?poetry?, art in this ?forsaken service station?, making him think about all other travelling places of equal importance or emphasis such as ?airport terminals, harbours, train stations and motels?. ...read more.


However, there are descriptions of observations made from all other senses as well, ?sound of piped upbeat music? and ?smelt of frying oil and lemon-scented floor polish?. All these descriptions might seem unimportant to few but actually, the writer is able to portray the setting very clearly through the use of such detailed description. By appealing to not only sight, but to all other senses as well, the writer is able to paint a picture in the mind of readers, such that readers can imagine whatever the persona is undergoing, as though the readers are there themselves, going through everything the persona is going through. Hence, readers are able to better understand the idea of travelling that Alain is trying to convey. In conclusion, Alain has a both a negative and positive idea on travelling places. Despite travelling places being very monotonous and boring, there still is an overlaying sense of beauty and meaning behind them. The writer has successfully expressed this through the theme of appearance versus reality and the use of such detailed description throughout the passage. ...read more.

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