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"Once More to the Lake" by E.B. White Seminar Preparation - inclu...

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"Once More to the Lake" by E.B. White Seminar Preparation - includes information about EB Whites use of literary devices, symbolism, and purpose.

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  • November 6, 2008
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1.In paragraphs two, ten, and twelve of "Once More to the Lake," White's brilliant use of metaphors, similes, and personification illustrates a lucid image of the speaker's intertwining past and present for the reader. White starts paragraph ten with a fragment, "Peace and goodness and jollity," and creates a great emphasis on his past and current feelings. He continues to illustrate his past memories with a personification of the vocal senses as he explains the sound of the motorboats; "the one-lungers throbbed and fluttered, and the twin-cylinder ones purred and purred, and that was a quiet sound too." He then compares this beautiful memory of the past to his current experience of the outboard powerboats, and exclaims, "These motors … whined about one's ears like mosquitoes." This contrasting simile outlines the speaker's transition from one point of time to another within his illusion. He continues to use a metaphor to describe the behavior of the old boats, and explains, "The boat would leap ahead, charging bull-fashion at the dock." After a thunderstorm passes, White describes his son as he is entering the water; "As he buckled the swollen belt suddenly my groin felt the chill of death." The "chill of death" is a metaphor for the truth White finds himself a part of, even though he is experiencing both his past and present. He realizes that the life course that leads to death starts with birth, and that his son's maturity also means that the end of White is approaching. This, along with his allusion between past and present, allow White to develop his universal truth within his text. At first, while his illusion from the similar shape of the outdoors gives the false perception that time has not past, his pinpointing of the different identities of the son and father serves as testimony that the cycle from birth to death is universal.

2.In "Once More to the Lake," White utilizes connotative words and phrases to establish the illusion that is the connection...