Imaginative journeys: "Luke's Way of Looking" by Nadia Wheatley and Matt Ottley

Essay by strawberriislusheeHigh School, 12th grade November 2007

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Imaginative journeys allow the individual to experience liberation, enabling us to see beyond our restraints and to understand the beauty of the world and all that is around us. The storybook, "Luke’s Way of Looking", by Nadia Wheatley and Matt Ottley, explores how the individual can transcend the barriers that restrict his imagination. A monochromatic colour scheme is used early in the storybook with the exception of Luke’s paintings, symbolizing the power of his imagination and providing contrast to the dull surroundings of the classroom. However, colours seep into the pages of the storybook as Luke gains more inspiration and liberation- the motif of colour parallels Luke’s own imaginative progression, mirroring the epiphany that Luke experiences in his imaginative journey, changing his perspective on the world. Mr Barraclough symbolises the restricting force that restrains the full power of Luke’s imagination, much like the bower that imprisoned the persona in Coleridge’s poem, “This Lime-Tree Bower, My prison”.

Similar to the persona in the poem, Luke is able to transcend his restrictions through the power of the mind. Ironically, his initial fear of Mr Barraclough becomes the catalyst for his imaginative journey. He avoids confrontation with his teacher, leading to a liberating exploration of just how far the imagination can extend- an exploration in a world filled with bursts of colour and “weird” things. The images of a butterfly emerging form a chrysalis and the imaginative projection of a phoenix onto Luke’s School buildings, suggest that Luke has gained enlightenment and understanding, seeing everything in a new light and giving birth to an imaginative that had been suppressed by the uniformity and sameness of his surroundings. The anagram, “Clarra Bough” as opposed to “Barraclough”, shows how Luke is no longer burdened by the initially looming shadow of his teacher, and...