‘The Doors’ by Phillip Gross.
We are introduced to a boy without an identity; The first 3 verses are full of questions without answers, conveying a feeling of loss and lack of purpose for the nameless boy. The repetition of the word , ‘doors’ seems to emphasise his feeling of desperation,- the image of a door can mean a closure, but it can also mean an opening. The last verse of the introduction introduces the idea that the doors are a circle of life- his life?
The first door he enters is the pink door, the alliteration of ‘pink powder-puffs’ makes you feel it surrounds you in a cloud of pink loved filled room with everything in a young girls imagination/ mothers love. Everything is pink and he feels over whelmed with the feminine image with the words. ‘A clinging boiled-milk-with-sugar smell.’ This image for me represents the artificial smell of candyfloss, almost sickly. Towards the end of this verse I think the image presented by ‘A small pink fist’ could be the birth of a baby – a new life but the boy doesn’t seem very happy with this image and says ‘not this way, no, go, on, go back, not here...’ conveys the feeling of desperation. The repetition of these words, at the end of several verses, reinforces these feelings.
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The yellow door this room conveys the feeling of warmth the summer brings ‘the summer blazed like foot lights’ this simile describes the warmth. The boy is almost starting to see himself and relate to the boy in the image. The personification of ‘the butter-gold, the honey, melt and run.’ Illustrates that this glories cannot last forever.
The green door suggests the teenage years ‘a green house heat’ could represent passion and hot tempers that the teenagers feel, it describes the green eyed monster and jealousy which happens in relationships and young love.
The red door is a very different one ,the verses are spread out un- like the others and he uses very short sentences, I think this conveys a period of anger ‘& and their dripping knives’ it seems a very violent and angry but also passionate and towards the end is the feeling of embarrassment when he’s growing into a stage of maturity.
The boy then opens the black door only to find it’s not really a door but a shadow. I felt this door could illustrate a near death experience or a sudden realisation of great truth ‘His own shadow stepped straight in. He could not follow.’- almost like a ghost.
The colour brown, which is the next door, conveys a feeling off dullness to his life not an inspiring colour almost like he has lost something that he can’t get back,. Also as the boy stepped into the brownish gloom ‘the door shut with a puff of dust’ this is almost like a time when people needed to have help to care for them. But it seems to be a sad time with their independence leaving them. ‘in a rich dark smell of leather peppered with mould.’ This room has an old man in with in it and the whole of these verses seem to have feeling of desperation about them ‘No end. There is no end. And no escape.’
But then the boy seems to find an inner strength, he does not want to except that these doors were the stages of his life, but he wanted more ‘the pages blew and blurred like beating wings shaken free, a cage white bird. The boy has hope that his destiny has not yet been written in the pages of the brown book.
The white door is the finale door. It’s a blank page, I feel for us to write our own story, which we can make it anyway we want, ‘only the frost of dawn’ is the start of a new day the dazzle of cold thin winter sun’. Gives us hope and warmth that our future can be positive. ‘white wings thrilling into flight’ is a very positive conclusion.
The first few doors made me reflect on my own life but the red and black and brown doors imagery made me feel unhappy, not the destiny I would choose. The finale door made me realise it doesn’t have to end on a negative, you can write your own book, make your life the way you want to. ‘raw stripped wood, and paint. The window faced him, without curtains,’ May seem a barren image, but to me it also says, life is a blank canvas and we are the artists.-live your life.
Josh Robinson 10SD. 6-9-2009.