Understanding I Used to Live Here Once

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A theme is the idea behind the story; it tells you what the story is about (Clugston, 2010). In the story I Used to Live Here Once, the author uses her descriptives of recalling how the water flowed, and the roads being wider but carelessly taken care of as her way of reaching back to when she was alive. She describes the day as being “a fine day, a blue day” (Clugston, 2010). This symbolizes the peacefulness she feels and calmness that surrounds her. I believe the ultimate theme of this story is the transcendent journey this woman has experienced.

The description of the way the river flows over the rocks, and her recollection of the shapes and sizes of these rocks symbolizes her human experiences. That she has been there before, that she felt safe and surrounded by peace. The description of the day being a fine blue day, signifies the peace she feels while at that location. The woman then continues on her journey or destined path to reveal that this is a familiar setting to her, and although there are significant differences it is still what she remembers. The description of the worn stone steps, and the screw pine being gone, signify that it has been a good many years since she had been there, and seen these surroundings. The author’s use of the glassy sky that the woman could not remember, could be considered a representation of the reflection the woman is experiencing as she takes her journey down memory lane. When the author states, “that was the first time she knew (Clugston, 2010)”, it was the defining moment in the story where it was finalized that the woman was no longer living.

The plot of this story was a smooth transition that took the reader down a road of divine discovery. The author told this story from third person omniscient point of view. We were able to read the thoughts and feelings of the story through the narrator. This is an effective point of view in this story as we get the full conclusion of how the woman felt, and her...
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