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Write a literary analysis on the journey described in "A Way Home" by Trevor Herriot.

In the essay “A Way Home,” Trevor Herriot uses the theme of journey to tie together his love for grassland birds, his fight to save their habitats, and the human longing for home. He begins by describing the actual migratory journey of the birds and then moves on to explain his own journey of the discovery of nature. He concludes with the observation that working to save the birds will help humans become more at home in the world.

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Amy Troolin, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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bookM.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville

bookM.A. from St. Cloud State University

bookM.A. from Signum University

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“A Way Home” is the preface essay of Trevor Herriot's Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds. Herriot uses the theme of a journey to tie his primary concern, grassland birds, to larger ideas of the human desire for home. Let's look at the various ways he portrays a journey.

As the essay begins, Herriot allows his imagination to soar as he describes the birds' spring journey north after a long winter. As the birds make their way to their summer home, they feel an eagerness. Snow geese yelp “excitedly of arctic pastures ahead of them” (1). Other birds add “softer notes” and calls of communication as they gaze down, trying to recognize the landscape that tells them their journey is complete. When they are finally home, Herriot explains, they will mate, nest, and raise their young as always before they begin yet another journey, this one to their southern, winter home.

Notice that the birds' journey always ends in home. Yet, Herriot argues, the home...

(The entire section contains 527 words.)

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