Journeys : Life Is Beautiful (Roberto Begnini)

As a result of studying journeys, the concept that I once related with the theme of journeys has changed and expanded. The sources that were studied and analyzed all expressed views or demonstrated the key aspects of journeys. Through the study of these poems, film and text my perception of this topic which before was blunt and physical, has enabled me to see the differing views and characteristics of journeys and their effect on individuals and the world.

After seeing the film “Life is Beautiful” directed by Roberto Begnini the thought of a journey based around the humour of a father in order to keep his son out of harms way, shows how different journeys can be, and the impact they can have on different people. For Guido’s son, the journey that was created for him was a very fun and exciting one, filled with prizes and points! But the fact was that Guido had the obligation to make his journey of this nature to protect him.The great thing about the film Life Is Beautiful, is that it encompasses many types of journeys.

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In the start, it is a romantic slapstick comedy about Guido making it into the small Italian town of Arezzo and falling in love with Dora. He takes on his journey of meeting new people, waitering, and following Dora around in order to gain her affection. The physical journey then turns into his journey with his son, through the Nazi death camp, risking life and limb to save his son from the harsh reality of where they are, and what the outcome of his father will be.The Inner journey that Guido went on was an emotional test of how strong he was to keep playing the game with his son. Journeys like the ones depicted in Life Is Beautiful are the basis of human experience in the world and are inevitable. Everyone in the world takes on journeys in their life that help shape them to be who they are. A poem written in the time of WWII by Janos Pilinszky, has also expanded my understanding of individuals and the world.

This poem tells of the emotional journey the narrator of this poem is going through as he/she explains what they are seeing.A french prisoner, obviously one who has escaped from a prisoner camp, hiding in their back garden. The poem is able to supply the readers with vivid imagery such as “ hands shrunk to the bone”, “those convulsed shoulder blades”, and “gulping raw cattle turnip”. The prisoner is personified into an animal, “peering all around”, and “almost merging into the ground”, a product no doubt of what the war and camp has done to them. From this poem, the repetition of the quote “ If I could only forget that frenchman”, makes clear the scar that this frenchman has left on them.An inner journey is apparent in this text, to try and forget the frenchman. Two journeys are evident in this poem. Readers can only imagine what this poor frenchman has gone through during the time of WWII and his journey into this persons back garden.

The last source which has changed my perception of journeys is the film “Igby Goes Down”. The protagonist Igby Slocumb is on a journey motif. A journey of self discovery in which he attempts to find meaning in life and understand the values and attitudes of society.

Physical and mental journeys are evident in this movie. Igby is always moving. Whether its from his parents, step dad or brother, the idea of a physical journey is evident throughout the whole movie. But we also get to see the emotional side of a boy who seems to be strong and too tough to let anything phase him, until he meets Sookie Sapperstein. As a result of his journey through new york, he learns about the values and attitudes of society, and how they affect the individuals and the world around him.At the end of the film were he kills his own mother with the help of his brother, its the beginning of a new journey to california to start anew. Through the study and analysis of these sources, they have changed my outlook on how I perceive journeys as an overall topic, individuals and the world. Journeys can come in any nature and can be expressed from many different perspectives.

Journey serves as an effective metaphor because it can accurately portray many concepts from all walks of life without becoming vague and can be utilized in many different ways.


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