Comparing the Two Works “the Key to My Father” Harlan Coben and “Once More to the Lake” E.B. White

Topics: Family, Narrator, Father Pages: 2 (457 words) Published: October 4, 2010
When comparing the two works “The Key To My Father” Harlan Coben and “Once More To The Lake” E.B. White, they both describe the value of fatherhood, Family and the concept of morality. Both represent the son’s point of view in a narrator position reliving childhood memories and what visual images remind them of a devoted father figure. In White’s essay the narrator speaks more of the surroundings that remind him of his experience on the lake with his father, then describes the present he is having with his own son. “I knew it, lying in my bed the first morning, smelling the bedroom, and hearing the boy sneak quietly out and go off along the shore in a boat. I began to sustain the illusion that he was I, and therefore, by simple transposition, that I was my father.” In the above quote I believe it details the vividness of the narrator’s childhood memories compare to that of his own son’s new experiences. In Coben’s story the narrator is seeing his father as an unpolished, confident and family-oriented man whose whole life is second to that of his families. “He could feign charm and warmth, but there was coldness there. He cared only about his family and he cared with a ferocity that both frightened and exhilarated.” His father was a charming man who people liked and he would have many friends but choose to only keep his family his priority. In both writings, the narrators use very detailed descriptions of their surroundings, the finest detail on the emotions & actions within the bonding and communications of the father and son.

In both writings, the narrators see their fathers as a positive role model who will instill the values of the protective and neutering provider of the household. Both White and Coben’s tone throughout the writings carry a “From father to son, to sons appreciation to father” as well as the differences in the form of writing used. White uses a compare and contrast style in his story, with the comparisons of the experience with his...
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