The imaginative journey is one in which we escape reality and are invited to acknowledge a new reality within the realms of the imagination. These journeys offer change and discovery providing valuable insight into ones past, present and future. Coleridge’s poems, “This Limetree Bower My Prison” and “Frost at Midnight” take the reader on an imaginative journey with the character through various forms of imagery placing a clear image in the readers mind. The book cover for “The Ivory Trail” by Victor Kelleher offers an artistic representation of the journey with images superimposed for added effect. The movie “The Butterfly Effect” co-directed by Eric Bress and J.Mackye Grubber is based on the chaos theory in which every little occurrence leads to a much larger event. The TV Show “Lost” follows the lives of 14 survivors of a plane crash placed in unrealistic circumstances on a strange island. These texts represent what the imaginative journey has to offer in a variety of ways.
The poems of Coleridge were written in the Romanticist era and thus, have elements of nature imagery imbedded within. For example in “Kubla Khan” Coleridge describes the location “Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man…” using nature imagery to place a clear image in the readers mind and enjambment to keep the flow of the poem. As mentioned above his poetry represents not just a journey for the character, but also a journey for the reader through the nature and sensory imagery.
“This Limetree Bower My Prison” is a poem in which Coleridge, incapacitated due to injury, takes us on an imaginative journey with him to the dell where his friends are exploring. Taking this journey gives rise to a change of opinion. Coleridge originally feels trapped giving a negative view of his situation, “This Limetree bower my prison”, using the metaphor of his situation being like a prison to emphasise the fact that he feels trapped. Upon taking the journey his opinion is changed as “A delight comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad as I myself were there”. An enjambment is used here to keep the flow of the poem while making the reader pause at the final words of each line for their emphasis. From the journey Coleridge learns for himself, and teaches the reader, that “nature ne’er deserts the wise and pure”
“Frost at Midnight” is another of Coleridge’s poems in which Coleridge, only in the company of his sleeping child, reflects upon his childhood and school life. The reflection, sparked by the dancing flames of the fire allows Coleridge to come to the conclusion that his education was poor because he “saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.” He resolves to make his sons education better than his own because his son “shalt wander like a breeze by lakes and sandy shores”. The importance of nature is again emphasised here clearly placing the poem in the Romantic era.
The book cover for “The Ivory Trai”l is an artistic representation of journey in which the arrangement of the images makes it one of the imagination. The head in the sand with eyes gazing is indicative of an imaginative of an imaginative journey taking place as in the imaginative journey, the journeyer often gazes and contemplates new worlds. The surrounding images are placed above the head indicating they are from the mind and further emphasising that the journey is of the imagination. The text at the top “Not all journey’s have an ending” not only makes the reader contemplate whether this journey has an ending, it also emphasises the limitlessness of the imagination.
The movie “The Butterfly Effect” is one in which the main character, Evan, takes imaginative journeys into his past in the hope of altering his future, with disastrous consequences. As in “Frost at Midnight”, the journey is sparked by a specific object, in Evan’s case, this is his diary or the home videos. The journey is represented by a blurring of the image on screen, a flash of light and we are in the main character’s past. Through multiple journeys the character comes to realise that he must die for things to be ‘right’ because he has “no soul, no lifeline” he was “never meant to be”.
The TV Show, “Lost” is one in which imaginative journeys take place for both the audience and the characters. It is a journey for the audience as they are taken from reality to the imaginative realm of the island, complete with polar bears, a mechanical ‘security system’ and a secret revealed piece by piece. It is an imaginative journey for the characters as they reflect upon their lives before the plane crash and the crash itself. The journeys often make the character make rash decisions for example when Kate reflects upon the crimes she committed she makes the decision to steal another characters spot on the raft so she has a better chance of escape.
In one particular episode, one of the characters, Locke, is reflecting on a meeting with a woman claiming to be his mother. This leads onto the dream sequence in which Locke sees a plane crash, and this woman pointing in its direction. Locke sees this as his ‘sign’ and travels along the path to eventually find the crashed plane. A key quote of his “Possible is a relative term, especially on this island” emphasises how anything is possible in the imagination and clearly places this island within the realm of the imagination.
Imaginative journeys are those in which we escape reality and are invited to acknowledge a new reality within the realm of the imagination.
Courtney from Study Moose
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