Transitions are disruptive and may be experienced as chaotic or subtle, but leads to significant changes in sense of self, perspective and relationships. The steps Old Bill has chosen to take in life have forced him to where he is today.
This is due to the loss of his wife and daughter Jessie which has forced him into living on the train as a homeless man, ‘My wife died one year to the day after Jessie…after the funeral I moved to the carriage. I closed the door to our house, left everything as it was and walked away.’ Emotive language has been used by Herrick to enrich the effect this has had on Old Bill. Additionally, the death of Old Bill’s family has consumed his understanding on reality, “My sweet lovely Jessie, fell and I fell with her and I’ve been falling ever since.
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” He is metaphorically falling down which has led him to downfall into despair and homelessness. However, this damaging transition in Old Bill’s life has given Old Bill the time to take into consideration the traumatic events of his past and take in a deeper understanding of his capabilities and learn how to be like the person he was before his losses. Old Bill’s transition is beginning and his interactions with Billy have had a great effect, helping rebuild Old Bill into his old self and to see life’s purpose again, ‘I tell him about the cannery and work…I find myself walking to the cannery with the kid looking for work, work I don’t need or want.’ In addition, Old Bill’s relationship strengthening as they are both providing support through their negative experiences and helping one another to transition, ‘I like the kid. I like his company…for a few hours I almost feel young again…I like the kid.’ The use of repetition emphasises the trust that is being built between each other. Through this Old Bill has been able to gain a better understanding of life from Billy who played as the main catalyst in Old Bill’s transition. Therefore, transitions are disruptive, but will lead to significant changes in sense of self, perspective and relationships and change their attitude towards the world.