English Speech- Journeys “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. ” In other words a journey and the experiences you have are better than the actual destination. The novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost have taught me that journeys may involves barriers and hardships, they can lead to significant personal change and more importantly journeys facilitate reflection about how you see yourself, others and the world. Journeys are very important in personal change and growth.
They can also help us in comparing and contrasting new and old experiences. Journeys may involve many barriers and hardships and overcoming them can lead to personal change and growth. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is an episodic novel that involves the physical and emotional journey Huck and Jim Take down the Mississippi River. Jim is an African American slave who escapes and joins Huck on his adventure. The river symbolises the physical journey they both take and along this journey they discover many barriers and hardships. These barriers and hardships are both emotional and physical.
This is evident when Huck is torn between following society’s rules (turning Jim in) or following his heart (helping Jim escape). Huck has come to an obstacle on the journey and has to try and overcome it. He has to make a decision on which ‘path’ he will take. Huck constantly battles with trying to decide what’s wrong from right and asking himself is he doing the right thing. Even though Huck see’s Jim as a friend he still carries on society’s values of racism and prejudice. Twain uses irony and satire to show how society is stupid, racist and oblivious to how they treat others.
This is seen when the reward for the capture of Jim is higher than the reward for pap. Society sees that the escape of a slave is far worse than murder. Likewise, “The Road Not Taken” also demonstrates that journeys may have barriers and hardships. The poem represents how sometimes people who are on life journeys come to a fork in the road or a decision that they have to make. The traveller wants to take both paths but he can’t. He has to weigh up his decision and go with it. Robert Frost uses the path to symbolise the journey the traveller goes on and to create and image for the reader.
Repetition and punctuation is also used to create emphasis and to reinforce what has been said. As Robert Frost states ‘Oh I kept the first for another day! Adding and exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. The repetition of the word ‘and’ in the first stanza also adds emphasis. Journeys facilitate reflection about how you see yourself, others and the world. I believe that a journey gives you the opportunity to really see everything in a different light. Journeys may involve obstacles and with these difficulties people experience new situations and therefore change.
Whether that be physically, emotionally or psychologically. A journey also assists with the comparison of yourself, others and society. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” Huck gets to experience life on a whole new level. He learns how wrong and prejudiced his society Is and how life on the raft is far better in comparison to life on shore. This is shown when Huck is so infatuated with the freedom and care-free nature of life on a raft compared to the cruel, racist and unjust way of life on shore. As Huck states ‘you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft’.
Mark Twain uses juxtaposition and again symbolism to compare and contrast the difference between life on shore vs life on the raft. Twain describes the town life as harsh, dirty and confined in comparison to the life on the shore as care-free, relaxed and independent. This highlights how good life on the raft is. The journey Huck and Jim take allows for both of them to reflect and compare life on shore in comparison to life on the raft. Huck and Jim don’t have to follow society’s rules they are free and with freedom comes opportunity to explore and experience many things they normally wouldn’t get to do.
In addition, “The Road Not Taken” also shows us how journeys allow for our reflection on many things. In the poem the traveller experiences an obstacle or fork in the road. This allows the traveller to take in his surroundings whether that be the path ahead or the people around him. This is shown when he states ‘two roads diverged in a yellow wood’. The traveller has two options and to make a decision he has to really explore both of them. Robert Frost uses this poem to express his belief in not always following the crowd and being an individual.
Robert Frost uses conversational language to create a sense of communication between the traveller and the reader and to enlighten the reflection that the traveller has made. After comparing both paths and seeing every option his reflection about his journey changes. The traveller decides to go with the path less travelled. He decides to be different. Journeys can lead to significant personal change. The experiences you have on a journey can shape and change your perception of yourself and the people around you. In ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ this is shown when Huck’s beliefs change and he becomes more mature.
Huck and Jim’s relationship also develops throughout the journey. Huck’s perception of Jim at the beginning of the journey is very different compared to the end. At the start Huck doesn’t take Jim very seriously and has no compassion or respect for him. The influences of society have taught him that Negro’s are useless and unintelligent. Jim still has feelings and emotions and throughout the journey Huck still feels he has to lower himself to talk to Jim. Huck learns from the experiences they have encountered that Jim is exactly the same as himself.
Huck’s beliefs and values change and this is shown when Huck states ‘I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so’ Huck eventually notices that Jim is in fact just the same as him. Journeys are very important in shaping, changing and discovering the world around you. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Road Not Taken” have taught me that a journey maybe involve barriers or hardships, a journey can facilitate reflection about yourself, others and the world and lastly a journey can lead to significant personal change.