What is the journey the Traveller is making? Explain the philosophical implications of this journey.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Christina Rosetti's poem "Uphill" uses the extended metaphor of a day's journey ending with a night's rest at an inn to describe the progress of life from cradle to grave.

The most obvious philosophical implication, reinforced by the poem's title, is that life is hard. The journey is all uphill, and there is no rest or respite until death. The journey takes all day, from morn to night, with no breaks and no downhill stretches.

Only one of the poem's four stanzas deals with the journey. The other three are about the inn at the end of the road. This suggests a focus on death, to which life is merely a prelude. However, there is no promise of heaven after the uphill struggle of life—there is only a promise of rest. Even comfort is not certain, only the sum of one's labors on the road. The philosophy therefore seems to be that of a rather cheerless Christianity without the bribe of heaven or the threat of hell.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial