Walcott follows a narrator through his own memory and mind, which is described as a path. He tells the story of a time where he and his brother roamed through a forest and come across a storyteller. Walcott employs many different types of imagery and analogy to convey that it is not a physical forest, but rather the jungle of his own mind and thoughts. Negative experiences can leave corporeal scars but also scars on your very mind and soul. In the story the narrator describes the “speckled road, scored with ruts, smelling of mold,” He’s been down this particular road too many mimes and RSI beginning to wear and his legs.
He struggles to escape from his own thoughts and past and describes himself as “in a frenzy”, which paints a picture of blind desperation. He tries tirelessly to escape and find a new path but the road comes back onto itself at the end and he begins the trip anew cursed to suffer endlessly in a Promethean loop Of self-scorn and thought. The stories being told and the forest itself are the narrators memories so when he arrives to a forest with ‘thick leaves” it indicates that he is often living in the past.
When it is said that he has a difficult time seeing past the leaves it shows that Jew is so haunted by his own memories that he cannot physically move on or see his own future. The sunset comes and shows the end of the day is near and threatens the narrator with the end of his life only having lived in the past and never having looked forward to new experiences. Once the boys arrive at the storyteller the narrator finds comfort in the boundless experiences of someone far beyond his years. Many times in life we are pressed with a choice and we make the wrong one.
People cannot low themselves to be consumed with the guilt of a wrong choice because there Will be many. Instead, they must deal with the consequences of their actions and move on. The old women’s voice is reassuring and hypnotic. Both boys are greatly affected and her voice stays with them to serve as a guiding light for the future. She assures better times to come for the boys and their shadows merge together to become one. This shows that we can always look to others to fight off our own personal demons through shared experiences and we can look to a “lamplight in our lives to find happiness.