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A Jorney

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ramurh
Words 1275
Pages 6
Rasmus Rømer Hansen

In our lives we will all inevitably face challenges. Life can deal us devastating blows and force us to make seemingly impossible decisions and choices. At times the power of these existential blows can be so strong that it forces us to our knees, disabling us of doing what is most fundamental in life: living. This condition is considered a depression: a complete lack of joy, motivation, energy and vigor. This is the main theme in Colm Tóibín’s short story “A Journey” from 2006. The protagonist, Mary, has suffered more than most from the blows of life. She has a paralyzed husband, a clinically depressed son and both of her parents have passed away at a relatively young age.

The actual story takes place at night in Mary’s car. She has just picked up David, her depressed son, from the hospital and they are on their way home. During the ride Mary reminisces about her past life; the things that she has been through and what she could have done differently. The story is written minimalistically without a narrator to explain why certain things occur. Instead Tóibín uses a 3rd person limited narrator that tells the story from Mary’s point of view. The reader observes Mary’s thoughts and “sees” the world from her eyes thus making the story very subjective. Mary is particularly concerned with her son’s disease and she wonders if she and her husband could have done anything differently to avoid the situation. She regrets the fact that she sold her father’s old shop because had she kept it, she would have been able to offer her son a job to get over his depression and there’s no way he could find a job elsewhere in his condition (“No one would employ David, she thought, and he was qualified for nothing”). The question of whether or not she and her husband could have done anything troubles her mind and she searches through her memory in a series of…...

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