Mary Oliver’ s “ The Journey ” Analysis Essay

Life is An on-going Journey that all people must undergo. Mary Oliver causes the reader to to the full see the womb-to-tomb battle of happening her/himself. Ultimately the common end in this verse form, and in our lives, is to demo one’s demand to happen his/herself through the countless obstructions in our manner.

The thought that this verse form is ongoing and missing stanza interruptions can implicitly exemplify the impression that life itself is ongoing without interruptions. The position that through good and bad ( obstructions ) , we all must travel on is represented in lines 10-12, Repair my life!  each voice cried. But you didn t halt. Oliver is explicating to the reader that although we will detect many adversities in life, we must travel on and go on our personal journey as seen in line 12, But you didn t halt?

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The deficiency of stanza interruptions besides causes the reader to travel more rapidly through the verse form. He/she is pulled through the poesy because many of the sentences are short and contain merely three to four words. Another cause of drawing through the work is that many sentences are cut off and continued on the following line. Oliver is making this to acquire an intense feeling across to the reader, the feeling of urgency and the unequivocal demand to make that concluding end of life’s journey. The thought of urgency can be seen in lines 1-4: One twenty-four hours you eventually knew What you had to make, and began, though the voices around you kept cheering.

The feeling antecedently mentioned of being rushed through the verse form can be compared to the adeptness of life. Our lives travel by faster than we expect. People Dont normally recognize merely what their end of life’s journey is, until they eventually reach the terminal. Oliver is rapidly drawing the reader toward the terminal of the verse form because that is where we find the ground or end for this journey .

The chief repeat is with the words determined. These words stand out more than any other. These same lines are accentuated by the rime. Both the rime and repeat are used to emphasize the importance of these words. When put together, these last four lines of the verse form are the most significant. They tie the full verse form together and state us what our end is for The Journey. Oliver references that the lone individual person can salvage is him/herself.

This verse form is about holding to get the better of obstructions. These obstructions are clearly seen in in lines 6-9, though the whole house began to tremble, and you felt the old jerk at your mortise joints.

Peoples are invariably being selfish and desiring to be saved, yet non caring that the talker is trying to salvage him/herself. Because? old jerk? is mentioned, it’s implied that the people environing the storyteller frequently ask him/her for aid. The obstructions throughout this verse form are all the people desiring to be saved by the talker. The? outside people? are the beginning of the jobs that hold back the storyteller from finishing his/her journey. Another illustration of people being obstructions is in lines 14-16, though the air current pried with it’s stiff fingers at the really foundations.

These lines tell us that the individual on this pursuit to happen his/herself, is up against something ( the people around him/her ) , every bit strong as a air current that could blow a house off. The air current uprooting or nosiness at the house is besides related to the household being pried at and ruined. The household is the changeless obstruction throughout the verse form. They cause the talker to be held back in finishing his journey.


  1. Steinman, Lisa M.  Dialogues Between History and Dream Michigan Quarterly Review. 36.2 ( 1987 ) : 428-438.

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Mary Oliver’ s “ The Journey ” Analysis Essay. (2018, Jun 03). Retrieved from