Think about the last film you watched or the last book you read. How did you feel afterwards? Did you feel nothing? Or did you connect to the story or even just one of the characters? A writer’s aim when creating a work is to provoke emotion, to make the reader feel something. Journey texts are particularly successful in this sense, as every person has gone on some sort of journey in their life. The novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger and the graphic novel The Arrival by Shaun Tann, are perfect examples of this. Every person who reads these books is able to relate to them in one way or other. The challenges that protagonists are faced with when on a journey and the sense of satisfaction and self-discovery that they feel when overcoming them, is what makes the journey meaningful for them and the reader. To me, a journey is any period of time where you go through something that results in a realization or the learning of a new piece of knowledge. In order to learn or discover something, you have to overcome a challenge. For example in The Catcher in the Rye Holden experiences many adversities when he goes to New York City that symbolize his fear of adulthood. Holden is constantly asking where the ducks in Central Park go when the lake freezes over. He says, “They can’t just ignore the ice. They can’t just ignore it” which is an extended metaphor for Holden’s fear of the transition between childhood and adulthood. The repetition also adds a childish tone to his question reinforcing the extended metaphor. He then goes on to find the lake and says, “Finally I found it. What it was, it was partly frozen and partly not frozen” symbolizing how he is in liminal space; he is stuck between adulthood and childhood. Another challenge Holden faces is Sunny, the prostitute he orders. When he orders Sunny to come to his hotel room she starts to undress and he says “Don’t you feel like talking for a while? It was a childish thing to say, but I was feeling so damn peculiar.” This is ironic because ordering a prostitute is a very adult thing to do but asking if they could talk instead is very immature. This scene clearly depicts Holden’s main challenge of his journey, which is overcoming his fear of adulthood and accepting the fact that all children have to enter adulthood, as it is a natural part of life.
The main challenge that the protagonist in The Arrival has to overcome is the transition and adaptation to a new place where he is alone and lost. The story focuses on the challenges of a journey, for example when he arrives at his new house for the first time he struggles to adapt to his new environment. The grid like structure of images on the page that depicts this scene symbolize how there are a multitude of things that are foreign to him and how he feels overwhelmed because of it. The first small image shows the man putting down his hat, which is a symbol throughout the novel for his identity. By putting down the hat, it symbolizes him losing his identity or confidence and entering a new world. On the next page there is large image that shows how the man is scared of his new creature, which is a symbol for this new place. At first he is scared and confused about the creature, but as the novel and journey continue, he becomes familiar with the animal and the new place and begins to enjoy it, which is portrayed through tones. When the man is scared and alone