Theme and Symbols of “I Used to Live Here Once”

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Theme and Symbols of “I used to live here once”
ENG125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor
10/1/2012

Theme and Symbols of “I used to live here once”
The story “I used to live here once” is a short story based on a woman’s journey returning to a place she once called home. The author uses symbols throughout the story to demonstrate to the reader that the woman is no longer alive. The ultimate theme is not discovered until the end of the story. The purpose of this paper will be to discuss my interpretation of the theme and symbol of this story.

This story is written in limited third person point of view. This means that narrator is not a character in the story. Based on the fact that; the narration is focused on only the woman’s actions, views, feelings and emotions. That leads me to believe that this particular story is limited third person point of view. The theme is a representation of the idea behind the story. (Clugston, 2010) Throughout the story the author gives clues to inform the reader of underlying meaning of the story. My understanding of the theme of “I used to live here once” is a woman’s spiritual journey. The plot of this story is a woman visiting a place she once called home. There are various symbols the author mentions. The symbols help the reader to understand the theme of the story.

In “I used to live here once” it starts out she is standing by the flowing river looking at the stepping stones remembering which ones where safe to step on and which ones were not. (Rhys, 1976) The river is a flow of her human experiences through life. I believe that the stepping stones were the trials and tribulations she experienced throughout her life. She had probably made mistakes by stepping on the wrong ones before. By that, I mean made mistakes in her life and learned from them. As she crosses the river, that stands for crossing over into the afterlife. As she walks down what used to be her street. She notices the road was much wider...
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