What do the novels Huckleberry Finn, The Canterbury Tales and On The Road have in common? All of these great works of fiction employ the literary technique known as the journey motif. Although the journey that the characters of these stories take is in the outer world, the real journey is a journey that goes within the mind and spirit of the character. As the characters progress in their physical journeys, they also progress within their spiritual journeys. There is a direct correlation, and ideally, the timing of the interior journey should match that of the external journey.
In Discovery of an Eagle, Cosmo’s journey goes from the east coast to the west coast of United States. This novel is a road story- a form of the journey motif which is considered by many to be an American invention. In the beginning of the novel, Cosmo has only dipped within the part of himself that is to awaken as the trip continues. By Texas, he is halfway to the other side of the country as well as being half-way fully awakened inside, and by Arizona, he has reached the point of no return. Although he can still turn back, doing so will require a great battle within himself. Getting to the other side of the country is a metaphor for him getting to the other side of himself, and that is why it is so important that he makes to the end of his journey.