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Once More to the Lake

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 513
  • Category: Present

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E. B. White’s Once More to the Lake is a very well written essay. The back and forth reflections of his childhood to adulthood is engaging. The way he compares his child self to his son arrests the whole essay. White’s story captures the essence of childhood memories. Reflecting beautifully will bring beauty, this is what White did. Retrospect is the main idea of White’s Once More to the Lake. Throughout the essay, White constantly reflects on his childhood and days at the lake in Maine. He often compares his own son to the days of his youth.

White also catches himself not knowing the difference between his son and himself at times, briefly going through déjà vu like trance when reminiscing. It seems as if his connection to the past has somehow slipped into his present day reality. The imagery White uses in his essay mirrors poetry. He makes a very strong point with the painting of his statement. For example, when speaking of his imagery of the lake; “I wondered how time would have marred this unique, this holy spot—the coves and streams, the hills that the sun set behind, the camps and the paths behind the camps” he paints a picture.

Once again, when reflecting how beautiful the mornings were; “The lake was cool and motionless, remembered how the bedroom smelled of the lumber it was made of and the wet woods whose scent entered through the screen”. Very valid details and descriptions are made when he reflects. This is great. All great authors should make very detailed descriptions when stating or telling something that they really want the reader to capture. White actually takes you to where or what he is talking about.

The significance of White’s last sentence was very appealing. Sort of like a cliff hanger, it leaves you pondering a bit, leaves you wanting to know more. The statement is foreshadowed where he sates “My groin felt the chill of death”. A statement such as that could be a bit bewildering, however, when resonating what the whole essay was about, you kind of get a feeling that maybe he’s referring to the end of his childhood? Maybe, he realizes now that reality has sat in, his son will grow and he will eventually die.

In turn, probably at that very moment at the lake, when his son was about to jump into the lake, he had an epiphany about death. He stated himself that one memory can lead to another; same thing goes for thinking ahead. This essay gathers the allurement of reminiscing and its makeup. When reminiscing you go back to another time, another place, and you enjoy. With White, he became his son and his son became him. That lake in Maine really gave him the essence of joy, so much so that he couldn’t tell the past from the present. He saw so much of himself in his son that he thought the two were one.

“Once More to the Lake”. White E.B. Examples (P. 299)

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