Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys in 1976 is about a woman taking a trip to a home she once lived as it suggests in the title (Clugston, 2010). The short story begins at a river and describes her crossing of the river and the vivid details of each of the stones. Most notably the slippery one that was just as slippery as when it was dry. Once across the river, she travels a road that is much different than she remembered, because it was widened and unfinished careless work. She then came upon her previous home, which was also different than she remembered. The obvious changes to her previous home that she noticed was a tree missing and a small summerhouse know as an ajoupa. The main house had a new addition and been painted. She came across two young children whom she attempted to say hello to. When she had gotten closer to the children and discovered their reaction to her presence, she learned she was no longer among the living. She was very surprised once she learned this. Her trip home seemed much like any trip to a former home until the end when she learned of her demise.
This short story has an ironic tone. When reading this short story, it is a pleasant and normal travel to a former home. Anyone can have a similar outlook when going back to a place in one’s childhood and find many thin...
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...ke in the other story met it with disbelief and denial. While inevitable, death is shocking and troubling for many because it can be abrupt, baffling, and surprising. Jean Rhys writes her character to have a baffling response to death. Luke, the character’s name for Andre Dubus’s story, is more proactive about the event of death even though he does not want to believe it is so. As shown in these two stories, everyone can have a different reaction to death.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into Literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Wilson, S. (n.d.). Third Person Point of View. The Writer’s Craft. Retrieved from http://www.the-writers-craft.com/third-person-point-of-view.html
Wilson, S. (n.d.). First Person Point of View. The Writer’s Craft. Retrieved from http://www.the-writers-craft.com/first-person-point-of-view.html
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