With a simplistic language and a gentle rhythm the journey is described just as it is. A journey is a collection of steps along a road towards a destination.
“You,” the only allusion to the hero of the tale, is nothing more than a pronoun; yet there is more to it. “You” is second person reference, but at the same time it is both singular and plural, thus every time it is employed we are directly called to take part in the voyage. You, me, us are just simple words; it is our imagination that gives them power. It is to our imagination that the text appeals as “you” is aimed towards our traveling soul, the one that forever craves adventure.
Within “Journey”, Oates uses the second person narrative; a seldom used technique with the intent of drawing the reader into the action. This can be used to place the booklover into the midst of different situations with great ease. It is through this means that we are placed behind the wheel or on the forest path. As the extract goes on the author convinces us to become one with the character, the voyage becomes our journey. “You” are left as an active participant of the trip down the road.
The symbols of this text are difficult to interpret. This is in no way due to conceptual complexity; it is rather due to the fact that one might find different interpretations for all elements. The map can be the eternal guide that never fails the traveler, but it can also be the one thing that keeps him away from enjoying the wonders of his world. The road can be one’s life as it has both a beginning and an end, the “city” mentioned in the opening. It can also represent our choices, each one with its consequences and its own ramifications. Then again it could be just an old dirt road in the middle of a forest. These are but two examples.
“Journey”, the title, refers to what the author perceives as a true voyage. Oates shows us that sometimes the unplanned path is the choice that brings the most satisfaction and that all which matters at the end of the day is not reaching our goal. What matters is not regretting where our steps have taken us.
It is this symbolic story that reflects both Oates’ mastery of the second person narrative and of symbols, as well as his understanding of a traveler’s soul and heart. (cribbed)
I have no idea... looks like Lucy nailed it for you. go for it.