When I think about the notion of travel, it never crosses my mind that it would be for any reason other than pleasure. My parents are never required to travel for their careers nor have I ever had to pack my things for a destination other than that which I chose for enjoyment. Wendt’s Black Rainbow is eye-opening in that the progression and movement of the book depend on a venture of desperation, on an assigned and necessary route that must be undertaken without personal thought. As others have already done, my personal traveling account harps on my study abroad experience in
My family’s history is rooted deep within its Irish heritage. I remember beginning my college search and ridding schools from my list that did not have options for study in
We learn about the narrator’s journey to recover his family quite early in the novel. His family had been taken by the Tribunal in order for his placement into the sect of “Chosen Ones” to come to fruition. Wendt uses the narrator’s expedition as a means to demonstrate an ordered, involuntary action assigned by a society that has taken his entire life from him while making him identical to those around him. I think the most important aspect of the novel is Wendt’s attempt to determine the composition of human beings, to bring to light its essence. Wendt argues for both human capacities of reason and of free-will. He shows Foster’s gradual progression from an inanimate being, one which was controlled by the Tribunal and acted without thought, to an animate being which acts according to his own desires.
I genuinely believe that Wendt wants of us to understand the limited human life we have. He is trying to show that without feeling and emotion, there is not much to the lives we lead. Without free-will and the ability to act on emotions, we are simply objects going through the motions never experiencing that which we are meant to achieve. I believe him to be requesting, through this sort of warning, that we question and challenge things in our own societies. The Tribunal offers a limited scope of human understanding and, thus, a stunted growth through lives that are not tested. As Foster continues on his journey and as he learns more about himself and those around him, he becomes inherently more human by questioning those institutions that he had followed without original thought. The Tribunal repressed all people's desires by giving them everything they thought they needed in return for their obedience. I think a desire to travel, to leave one's safe-haven and to experience others, is a very natural yet not always tested human desire. Traveling then, in this sense, is meant to connect to other people’s lives and not to exist other than, or apart from, them. It is to be immersed in them.