Once More to the Lake, by E.B White

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Born on July 11, 1899, Elwyn Brooks White published his fist collection of works in 1925 as an American novelist, essayist, and poet. Since then, White has published more than 15 works of fiction, poetry, and essays, but is best known for his children's books, Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little. Most of White's writing themes consist of war, internationalism, urban and rural life comfort, as well as failures of technology and the complications of modern society. In his 1941 essay, "Once More to the Lake," E.B White compares and contrasts the narrator's childhood memories and his present memories, as an adult, on a lake in Maine. The narrator begins the story by reflecting his youthful memories at the lake with his father. Now, as a father, he decides to relive those past moments and feelings with his son. As the narrator begins his journey, despite changes due from the innovation of technology, he notices everything is still the same. However, continuing his journey, the narrator struggles with the distinction between past and present experiences. All through his journey, the narrator feels he is "living a dual existence" At time, he feels the presence of his father in him and his presence in his son. This illusion between his childhood and manhood effects his perception of time. Towards the end, the speaker realizes that his roles have changed from son to father. He becomes aware of the fact that he is a middle-age man on the path to mortality. In "Once More to the Lake," because memories remain constant, it effects humans' time perception of past and present experiences or events and this matters because passage of time continues and death is unavoidable.
In the beginning of the essay, the narrator n...

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...d present worlds. In the end, humans are subject to the universal cycle of life, in which birth begins one's life and death ends one's life. Elwyn Brooks White's essay represents place-based writing, in which it demonstrates a place of heritage (Holmes 66). White's essay is centered at a campground on a lake in Maine. This camp site represents "family heritage," in which he experiences valued memories (Holmes). The use of pathos or appeals to emotion demonstrates excitement of a well remembered place in which it "generates a type of connection" and "promise to the reader" (Holmes 68). Reflection of memories allows the narrator to understand his role and identity in the present (Radstone 135). Elwyn Brooks Whites successfully portrays the difficultly of accepting passage of life/ time, in which childhood memories are valued and cherished through place-based writing.
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