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Bypass Suggests That The Journey Is More Important Than The Destination

961 words - 4 pages

“Bypass suggests that the journey is more important that the destination”

For Michael McGirr, his odyssey along the Hume Highway is evidently more important than the destination: Melbourne.
McGirr undertakes a journey which for him is both physical and personal. His departure from the Jesuit priesthood after 21 years left him comparing his withdrawal to a ‘divorce’. No longer being a father of the priesthood McGirr finds that he must now make his own way in life without the church. With this McGirr chooses to purchase a ‘cheap Chinese bike’ and slowly ride the length of the Hume highway from Sydney to Melbourne towards his partner Jenny. This journey allows Michael to explore the ...view middle of the document...

McGirr uses the road as a handy metaphor in the context of his developing relationship with Jenny; roads are like relationships, there are always “a few potholes along the way”. This is alike his relationship with Jenny as he finds it difficult to become intimate with Jenny in such a modest sense that simply sharing a bed with another person was “new” and “terrifying” to McGirr. However, as his physical journey along the Hume continues he finds a sense of contentment with Jenny. “As I grew closer to her, I felt less anxiety to know everybody else” further identifying how Jenny’s companionship along his odyssey served as a point of security, and thuds be became less self-conscious about himself and more comfortable and contempt with his life. Ultimately Jenny’s company along the Hume plays an essential role in McGirr’s self-discovery; with Jenny he found his place in the wider community, with her.

Along the journey many tolls are met in the form of truck drivers who work continuously driving up and down the Hume supporting the notion that “the road is a monument to restlessness”. However, within McGirr’s construction of the hybrid-memoir Bypass, these truck drivers are perceived as stoic individuals, providing no interruptions and enticing society with their nomadic styles of living. The way McGirr illustrates these individual’s stories and their circumstances, admiring the “most ordinary moments” in everyday life such as “a truck driver elegantly tossing an apple core into a rubbish bin” highlights that he is not as critical towards our society as he is towards himself.

Along his slow journey, McGirr...

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