Alain De Botton's 2002: The Philosophical Nature Of Journey

Improved Essays
Why do people travel? Is it to connect with their surroundings? Or find their place in the world? Some composers comment on the how and why of travel rather than the typical where found in travel guides.

Welcome to the Newcastle Writers Festival. I am Mia Jenkins and currently a year 12 student. I am here to discuss the ways composers explore the relationships between people and landscapes on a more meaningful level.

Alain de Botton's 2002 'The Art of Travel' is a didactic text that explores the philosophical nature of travel. His purpose is to advise on the profound aspects of travel rather than the superficial landscapes found in travel guides. This idea is also explored in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1797 poem, ‘This Lime-tree Bower My
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In the Art of Travel, de Botton pays particular attention to 'the tree'. He explores how “a lengthy and…expensive journey might be set into motion by nothing more than the sight of a photograph of a palm tree gently inclining in a tropical breeze.” Through the use of imagery and hyperbolic language, de Botton is arguing that the mere sight of the photograph – an idyllic tropical setting which appeals to the senses of the reader – might be the catalyst for an expensive trip overseas. de Botton argues that the representation is both reflecting and impacting on his emotional state. Therefore, he demonstrates how anticipation creates a more pleasurable experience in the imagined Barbados landscape in contrast with the mundane reality. Coleridge also explores this notion in ‘This Lime-tree Bower My Prison’. Coleridge writes, "On springy heath, along the hill-top edge, wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance, To that still roaring dell" to describe the predicted journey his friends might be experiencing. His use of positive imagery juxtaposes against Coleridge's stationary predicament of being forced to sit beneath a lime tree whilst his friends are enjoying the countryside. Thus, both texts argue how anticipation impacts the relationship between people and landscape by drawing a contrast between the real and …show more content…
The hyperbole of “Friends, whom I never more may meet again" is Coleridge exaggerating his current predicament because he is envious of the experience he imagines his friends are enjoying. Coleridge’s imagined journey transports him from his present reality to an ideal one. Therefore, an imagined landscape can lead us through the lens of new experiences. Alain de Botton's 'The Art of Travel' and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘This Lime-tree Bower My Prison’ both explore the dynamic relationship between people and landscapes. de Botton’s purpose is to help us navigate the world, however, Coleridge’s aim is to transport his audience on an emotional journey. Both composers broaden our perspective of the world and stimulates the audience to form greater connection to the

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