Professor Isabel Grayson
September 17, 2013
The Reality of Life
In the essay, “Once More to the Lake” by E.B White, a father returns with his son, to a vacation lake in Maine, where his father used to take him when he was younger. When the father spends time there with his son, he begins to reminisce on the experience he shared at the lake with his own father. The thought of immortality and timelessness tricks the narrator into believing no time has passed. While the father is referring back to these memories, the author makes a transition from fantasy to reality. Eventually, the father identifies differences in what his son experiences at the lake and what he experienced at the lake when he was a child. The author shows the shifting between what he thinks is real and what is not. He witnesses a lake that to him never changes because he sees himself in his son. In the essay, “Once More to the Lake”, through the use of illusions shifting from fantasy to reality, and then the termination of these misconceptions, the father comes to the realization that time does not stop and everyone experiences life differently, creating their own memories.
From the father perspective, time appears to stand still in “Once More to the Lake.” Timelessness is represented through the description of the ocean. The ocean acts as a symbol of a child’s best friend, encouraging the child to the fearless and chase adventure. However, the father views the ocean differently, as he sees the ocean being dangerous. As stated in the text “I have since become a salt-water man, but sometimes in summer there are days when the restlessness of the tides and the fearful cold of the sea water and the incessant wind which blows across the afternoon and into the evening make me wish for placidity of a lake in the woods” (pg 1). This quote shows that the father is fearful of the sea, and seeks the comfort of the lake because how the waves of the ocean represent no...
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