Inner Journeys

Understanding the concept of inner journeys has allowed a better understanding of myself, individuals and the world. It is through the knowledge gained in the two poems, Of Eurydice by Ivan Lalic and The French Prisoner by Janos Pilinszky, that I can incorporate this concept into everyday life.

An inner journey is an experience that develops a person through new challenges and inspires them to discover ‘one’s self’. They can occur over a short period of time or even extend over a lifetime. It is through facing these hardships that a person can strengthen themselves from within. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…” From straying off the path, one can change their view or outlook on themselves, individuals and the world.

In Of Eurydice, Orpheus is faced with many inner journeys while on his physical journey to save his wife Eurydice. Throughout the poem we see how his reaction has affected his life now. [Orpheus must face the gods of the underworld and overcome his fear so he can return with his wife. However one error lets him lose her all over again but this time he can never get her back.] When he returns, he reflects on what he has lost and how he can only blame himself for what has happened. Now he must face a life alone and full of regret. However, he understands that he can learn from his error, “Afraid, and hideously enriched.”

The imagery used throughout the poem changes to express the changes in what Orpheus is feeling. In the first stanza, dark imagery is used such as darkness devoid of time, black and coals. These words are symbolic of the way he feels. In the second stanza the imagery changes to words that express his passion such as crimson fear and blood-heavy eyes.

Metaphors and personification are used frequently throughout the poem. The metaphor, ‘gnawed to the bone by the walls’ invisible sneers’, shows his realization that he was being ridiculed by the...