Journey to Nine Miles by Alice Walker (Summary and Reflection)

Alice Walker’s article entitled Journey to Nine Miles shows how Bob Marley influenced Jamaican people by his songs and legacies before passing away. The selection merely centered about the author’s great fondness that she believes the said singer is sacred indeed. It was started by exposing the setting where they are preparing to go to their Christmas trip to Nine Miles – a place where Bob Marley was born and buried. People are going to that place to celebrate Traditional Day and Thanks Giving Day. Alice had a nostalgic feeling when she remembered the first time she heard his song.  Though at first, his music stayed outside her consciousness, she got easily became Marley’s fan because of his genuine love for Jamaican and for being a Jamaican. She later described all his positive attributes to the point that she questioned herself for discovering his songs so late. The addiction she has for him has spread to her family as well. Then the focus of the story was returned to their journey way to Nine Miles. They were agonizing seven hours in Negril before reaching their destination. People apparently showed hospitality the moment they set foot to the land, especially the caretaker who happens to be Bob’s friend. Alice and her company visited Bob’s tomb and the house where Bob and his wife used to live in their earlier marriage life. During her trip, something aroused her curiosity. She wondered why Bob wanted his body to be buried to the same place where he was born. Later in story, a boy who looks like him asked for money. This made her realized that maybe Bob planted himself in the place to help feed the unfortunate ones in the village. The story was ended by explaining that people has a misconception that their country is rich. She clarified that people living in Jamaica are poor, and the only rich thing in their country is their traditions. They left out the land while singing Redemption Song and a statement that gave the reader a humorous thought to ponder.

So what would be my reaction to Alice Walker’s story? It all revolved round the Jamaican singer who people believed is sacred. If a person would interpret the title literally, it can be just a simple journey to a place. But the title itself suggests a deeper thought. I believe Nine Miles symbolizes Bob Marley’s Legacy. Thus, Jamaican people are in a journey to enliven the legacy of him.  The author is proud like no other that there was a person who raised the flag of Jamaica for them.  In addition, this is not just a simple story because it also hits the biggest issue in Jamaica – poverty. The most beautiful thing that I love about it is her power in writing to appeal to people’s emotion. The story itself can attract people’s curiosity to visit the place. More so, if people would visit the place, there would be children who would ask for money. Well, it is true that she cannot hand money every day to the children, but maybe this is her way to help her Jamaican brothers to feed; just like how she believed why Bob Marley decided to put his grave in their land.


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