Analysis Of ' Farther Away ' By Jonathan Franzen

1470 Words6 Pages
Throughout a life journey, people experience a wide range of events that provoke an emotional response –it can be feelings of happiness, joy, and satisfaction, but it can also be feelings of sadness or anxiety. Loss of someone or something that was valuable to you often results in feeling grief –and everyone manages it in their own way. What’s important is that in the end, you understand yourself, your emotions and you let go. In Jonathan Franzen’s essay called ‘Farther Away’, the author is describing his trip to an isolated island where he goes to escape, tired and bored after his long book tour, with the help of which he was trying to ignore his feelings and inner problems. Jonathan goes to see some rare types of birds, while aims to…show more content…
Even when Jonathan is talking about other things, David is the main theme in this essay. Jonathan explains his trip to as an attempt to escape boredom. But all this adventure- to the farthest away island- makes him feel like David felt, alone and isolated from everyone, bored and with no one to understand, perhaps even become David for a while. David is a metaphor for an island, and Jonathan states that a couple of times saying that “he was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself” (p. 16). Franzen’s being isolated contributed to his understanding of David’s reasons for suicide – Jonathan felt what it’s like being on an island with no one but yourself: it was horrible, and that’s where David was trapped forever. Our main character’s desire for extreme experience and adventures sometimes placed him in situations where he could’ve easily died. On the island, Jonathan is searching for some rare types of birds with no map, horrible weather conditions and almost only his intuition to guide him. Thus, a reader might feel like Jonathan is consciously or subconsciously places himself in those situations because that’s what he wanted to feel like – experience being on the edge of ‘life and death’. Jonathan finally realizes it and thinks ‘What you’re doing is extremely dangerous’ (p.14). It’s interesting that right after that realization, Jonathan writes ‘ And I thought of my dead friend’

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