‘Journey to the Interior’ by Margaret Atwood

1. How is metaphor used to represent the inner journey?
Metaphor is used in many ways to represent the inner journey. The physical landscape has been used as a metaphor to contrast with the inner journey. The line “I notice: that the hills which eyes make flat as a wall, welded together, open as I move to let me through:” reflects this statement. You may think you are indestructible and know everything about yourself but when you under take the journey you start to see things are not always as they seem.   “but mostly the danger; many have been here, but only some have returned” suggests that she could get lost while finding herself.

2. Is this an effective representation of the concept of an imaginative journey?
Yes because she is using her imagination to take her on this journey. She conveys this in the poem using the metaphor of the Canadian landscape. For example, “I’m sure I passed yesterday (have I been going in circles again” shows both the physical and imaginative. She has been on this journey which she thinks she has already been on. “endless as prairies” shows us that her journey is weak and thin. It is unnourished and very harsh. She uses contrast in the 2 stanzas show the similarities and differences between her worlds. She uses a wide range of adjectives to illustrate to us the severity of her journey, for example, “a vacant wilderness”. This is also a great example of the technique oxymoron.