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FF6666: orphan going offroad towards home

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FF33FF: orphans in rural places surrounded by cornfields

FF33CC and FF3399: rural orphans in the maze and labyrinth

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FF33CC and FF3399: rural orphans in the maze and labyrinth: 01/30/19

FF33CC and FF3399: rural orphans in the maze and labyrinth

Last November I wrote an essay comparing the maze and the labyrinth in terms of the orphan's journey to or through the wildlands. Now I will endeavor to do the same in terms of the rural landscape. As I've yet to find a narrative that fits into either category, this essay will be descriptive and hypothetical.

Starting with the traveler, in these two scenarios, the traveler is an orphan. An orphan is a solo traveler. They can be a literal orphan. But often they are a metaphorical one. They are separated from their friends or family and are traveling alone. It could be by choice but often it's a forced separation.

The destination in these two cases is a real world, sparsely populated area. The rural landscape is small town, on the edge of the wilderness and the edge of farmland. The rural destination could be a single farm or a small town — a place with a few roads but access to at least a Blue Highway.

Now there are the routes, the maze and the labyrinth. The maze is a path full of blind alleys and danger. The path isn't a guaranteed one. The labyrinth, meanwhile, is a twisting path but a relatively safe one.

In the maze scenario, the orphan traveler is either escaping life in a rural town via a dangerous or unpredictable path, or they are trying to find their way back to the rural town. If this narrative is fantasy or horror it's possible that the maze could be a means of entrapping the orphan or even isolating the rural town from the rest of the world.

In the case of the labyrinth, the journey either to or from the rural landscape will be more of a transformative one. It could be a magical route from another world or a shortcut from one mundane location to another. It could also in the case of realistic fiction be a means of self discovery.

As always, if you can think of examples for either type of narrative, please let me know in the comments.

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