Examples Of Imagination In The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

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Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” tells the story of a man who returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven years old, he met a girl named, Lettie Hempstock. At first it seems that he is struggling to remember his past, but sitting by the pond behind the Hempstock’s farm; a pond that Lettie claimed was an ocean, his memory triggers and his seemingly forgotten past comes flooding back. As the narrator recounts his past the reader takes a journey filled with “magic” and illusion that seems straight out of a child’s imagination. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” centers on the imagination and the creativity of a child (the narrator) when faced with difficult situations in his life, but what exactly triggers the narrator’s wild imagination and what is he trying to avoid? “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” contrasts a child’s point of view against that of an adult’s. What the narrator sees and at times considers to be real is often in conflict with the world that adults see and perceive. The narrator’s parents serve as the adult point of view where everything is exactly as it seems, where no other worldly creatures exist. There is no mystery, no illusion, things are merely what they are, whether they are good or bad. Gaiman writes, “Adult stories never made sense, and they were so slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets…Why didn’t adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?” (Gaiman 71-72); Gaiman writes this to highlight the difference between a child’s and adult’s mind set, a child is interested in wild and mythical creatures, while adults are concerned about what is real, t... ... middle of paper ... ...ath of a stranger at such a young age, a mother working all the time and not been there, and abusive father who almost drowns him and an evil nanny who threatens him at every turn and seeks to tear his family apart by having an affair with the narrators father. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” seems to show how a child’s imagination can infiltrate their real world and in a way help them. Life, for lack of a better word, sucks, it really does, and when you can create a “magical world” to escape to, everyday life becomes far more bearable. As people age and enter adulthood this becomes difficult to do. There is no magic, no illusion, and no mystery to life when you are older, you only see things for what they appear to be and nothing else. Gaiman forces the reader to recognize the power that we once held as child with creativity, imagination, and a belief in magic.

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