Journeys provide individuals with the opportunity to leave the norm of society, escaping to a context where previously held beliefs and expectations do not exist or are different and unique. This provides the opportunity for individuals to alter themselves but whether this is welcomed or imposed depends on the context and the point of the journey. This is clearly evident in Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”, where certain characters savour the opportunity to transform their identities and beliefs in favour of a new personality. However, in the novel “Life Of Pi” by Yann Martel, the journey of Pi is filled with tragedy and a disaster serves as the catalyst that offers the opportunity to reinvent his life, but at great cost.
A journey provides the opportunity for reconciliation and redemption. This is particularly evident in Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”, where Oliver is able to undergo a sudden "conversion" in the Forest of Arden after Orlando saves him from a "green and gilded snake" and then a "hungry lioness. Oliver finds freedom in the forest of Arden and becomes a completely different character. In creating Arden, Shakespeare has made an escape from society. It is a place where previous roles and rules in society are forgotten; instead it is a place of refuge and freedom, where characters experience self-discovery, renewal, and fantasy. Oliver’s reconciled relationship is shown in the quote 'Twas I, but ’tis not I. I do not shame to tell you what I was, since my conversion. So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.” Oliver says he is not ashamed to tell Rosalind who he was because he is happy to have converted. The way that Oliver changed proves that during the process of journey one can be rebirthed.
Shakespeare creates the forest of Arden as a place where travellers undergo a transformation that affects their decisions and values. This concept is broadened in the allegorical novel “Life of Pi” where Pi’s segregation on the boat forced him to redefine himself. The novel is an allegory where the sun and sea represent the harsh realities of life and Pi’s lifeboat becomes symbolic of his desperation to survive. It converted Pi much like the Forest of Arden converted Oliver. On his journey Pi realises that God is still with him and he has been given a miracle. Pi believed that God showed himself to him and that he had found redemption. This belief gave him strength and he decides to fight to stay alive as shown in the quote: “I was giving up. I would have given up - if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said, "I will not die. I refuse it. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die.” This thought gives him strength, and he decides to fight to remain alive. Without this catalyst, Pi would never have been able to survive his journey and seek redemption from God.
During the process of journey individuals are given opportunities to leave to a new context to reinvent themselves, however it is up to these individuals to make use of this opportunity. The Forest of Arden in the play “As You Like It” offers characters the chance to change their personalities and beliefs. One character who relishes the opportunity she has been given is Rosalind. She starts the play as a stereotypical "damsel in distress," but soon develops self-confidence when she flees the court and disguises herself as "Ganymede". Rosalind is able to subvert the limitations that her previous context imposed on her as a woman. Throughout the play Rosalind…