Short Story

Journey to the Interior- Margaret Atwood
A discovery is a personal process of self-realisation and evaluation. It is the result of a curios and reflective mind leading its beholder to many undiscovered places. In Margaret Atwood’s poem “Journey to the Interior”, a discovery is conveyed as a surreal exploration of the “sublime” within one’s self. The use of a free verse style of writing and the lack of punctuation enforces the idea that a discovery is an ongoing process. The repetitious use of personal pronouns such as “I” shows that the discovery is a personal journey into the untouched areas of the persona’s mind. The rhetorical question “(have I been walking in circles again?)” implies that a discovery affects the persona’s inner stability. It causes them to question all the “hidden” and “shamed” aspects of themselves. In the quote “a fallen log I think I passed yesterday”, a discovery is seen to mix memories with reality thus creating a sense of dejavu and confusion in an individual. This confusion then creates fears and barriers that obstruct the way for possible future discoveries. This is shown in the line “But mostly danger: Some have returned safely”. A discovery is usually triggered by curiosity and risk taking. “A compass in useless, trying to take directions from the sun “. In the quote, the persona is seen to risk his inner tranquillity by letting go of formalities and going on the journey of uncovering the displeasing realities of life. In the line “light and dark at all times, there are no destinations”, the use of visual imagery and symbolisms in “light and dark” implies that a discovery can be aimless, ineffectual, and useless. Overall, the poem delves into the psychological whelms of a discovery and the affects it has on an individual.