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Road Essays
FF00CC: orphans in the maze of the city

FF0099: an orphan in a city labyrinth: a close reading of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

FF0066: Orphans going offroad in the city

FF0033: An orphan's journey to the big city by way of the Blue Highway

Road Narrative Update for February 2019

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FF0033: An orphan's journey to the big city by way of the Blue Highway: 03/29/19

January book sources

The penultimate city journey an orphan can take is by way of the Blue Highway. At this time I don't have an exemplar, so this post will be entirely descriptive and hypothetical.

The orphan traveler is a solo traveler. They may be a literal orphan. Or they may be someone forced by circumstance to travel or act alone. They are not a privileged traveler (00) as they lack the personal agency to travel whenever and wherever they chose.

Orphan travelers are often children but don't have to be. They can be adults if for some reason they won't otherwise have the agency to leave at will.

The city is the last of the destinations because the city is the obvious destination. Travelers leave cities to travel to other cities. Rural travelers leave home, the farm, the small town, to make it big in the city. The city is a lure to many and a common narrative point.

Finally there is the Blue Highway. The name is taken from the older, smaller highways that criss-cross the United States. More broadly speaking for this project, it's any meandering but maintained road.

Put all together, this type of narrative would probably be one of a child forced by circumstances to go to a city, perhaps to distant family, or to try to make a living after being orphaned, or when running away from a dangerous situation.

If the narrative is contained within the bounds of the city, the orphan could be roaming the streets. They could be homeless.

A final version could be one of kidnapping. Someone could be bodily removed from their circumstances for reasons that would require either rescue or escape. The vast majority of the orphan narratives I've read so far would lead me to expect escape, rather than rescue.

If you can recommend a novel, film, or television episode that fits into this category, please let me know the title in a comment.

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