Mistry's Such a Long Journey: the Struggle Within Essay

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Common motifs depicted in the characters throughout Rohinton Mistry's "Such a long journey" include the contrast of many opposing forces. Good and bad, bitterness and forgiveness, saving and destruction, heaven and hell as just a few of the conflicting themes. Many secondary characters in the novel are important in the life of Gustad, and encourage these themes. In The Road to Salvation: Mythological and Theological Intertextuality in Rohinton Mistry's Such a Long Journey, Michel W. Pharand states:

"Since good and evil seem to be inextricably bound, it is not surprising that many of the characters in Such a Long Journey end up doing evil in trying to do good, or conversely, that some of the good deeds have their origins in evil
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Whether or not it is friendship or his military training is unsure, but his duty as either a friend or duty comes apparent. As a part of the military he is firm and strong, doing what he feels is necessary to save his fellow military man.

The wall artist is seen by Gustad every morning on his way to work. His art is portrayed through religion, in chalk on the sidewalk implying it is temporary as is life. This is contrasted with his paintings upon the wall which become permanent, as are all life lessons, yet ironically the wall eventually is destroyed. Talented and tolerant, he is used as a foil of Gustad who proves to be intolerant of his son Sohrab's choice to not attend the Indian Institute of Technology. Barefoot, he gives the impression of vulnerability, yet he proves to have a strength that changes the community and in particular Gustad. In an epiphany, Gustad comes to the realization that he can solve many problems in his life with the help of the artist. This immediately gives Gustad hope for the future as the future he hoped for through Sohrab is

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