In my opinion, this article is a journey. It’s a journey of a person who feels empty and purposeless in their life, searching for purpose and meaning. This is shown throughout the article, starting at the beginning with the introduction to the numerous toothbrushes found in their bathroom. The emptiness felt by the subject is evident through the language used throughout the piece: “ravening country” (p. 6), and the self-projections used throughout “I was a grey and disgusting object…” (p. 6). Additionally, the subject speaks about their severe apathy toward life (p. 6) and how they perhaps even enjoyed the pain they inflicted upon themselves “That is what I really liked: dying a little and dropping my life behind me…” (p. 5).
At the end of the story they reveal what they ultimately discovered throughout their many journeys: “…life itself is nothing: it is the trimmings that matter, the pride the honour and beauty.” (p. 7). Or perhaps they have mislead us the whole time. Perhaps it is more of a test; challenging us to ask the question, what is truly important? Because in the end, the trees of gold are really just plagued with disease.