An ordinary journey is said to go from A to B, in other terms it is a physical journey that allows the traveller to go somewhere else than his or hers starting point. This kind of journey will change the traveller’s physical surroundings. However, journeys are not of a physical nature necessarily, there are inner journeys as well; psychical journeys meant for changing your personal ‘surroundings’. For the unlucky, psychical journeys can resolve in depression
Colm Tóbín’s short story, A journey, examines how the boy David, became depressed, and tries to understand it as an inner, murky journey, hence Tóbín’s title: A journey. David has been on an inner journey, presumably while developing his personality in the teen years. His mother, Mary, is driving him to their home from the hospital when we meet them. Tóbín conveys two kinds of journeys: the physical journey home, and David’s inner journey, which we see through Mary’s flashback.
The story starts with the first flashback, which takes us back to David’s early childhood. Mary remembers him as a vivid child who followed her around and asked her questions. In spite of his seriousness Mary had a hard time not to show her amusement.
The second flashback shows David’s first signs of depression: “David had grown beyond their reach and become sullen and withdrawn.” In Mary’s own terms David is suffering from silence, which he proves to be true, when he sits in silence in the back seat. The contrasts between the childhood scenarios and the dominating silence in the car, give the impression that the roles have been shifted. It is now Mary that asks her son questions and tries to make him sit next to her, and David who ignores his mother. But why does David do so? Perhaps it is an act of revenge caused by his parents’ absence? It can be presumed that David at some point stopped asking his mother questions, because he felt she did’nt care? He was very enthusiastic when he asked her questions, but perhaps it...