Professor Cassandra Neace
29 October 2018
Textual Analysis of Once More to the Lake
The essay “Once More To the Lake” by E.B. White, is an essay that utilizes various literary techniques. The techniques White used, were to emphasize on the metaphor and imagery he wanted to deliver throughout the novel. The author is mostly using the past tense, in a way of reminding himself and the readers of the past events that had occurred and their significance. White is displaying his strong connection to the past, which affects him in many ways till present time.
White is using time as a theme for his essay. The time the author uses, is the past historic time. White is commemorating the time, when he and his son went to visit their vacation spot. Since that visit to the vacation spot, White has been rigorously holding on to that past time in his life. While remembering his old vacation spot with his son, White seems to mention the most detailed yet important memories to him. An example would be, him remembering the old smell of his decrepit bedroom. It gives him many various flashbacks. White also remembers the “stillness of the cathedral” which related to so many reminders and important events for him. White also mentions how he related to his son when he was younger. Like the time that his son has gone to sneak out, gives him a similar reflect of himself which is in the core of the past he is reminding himself of. The use of affluent imagery White has used, makes the reader feel like they are living the scene. The author seemed to try his best, for the reader to feel his emotion that he had for the past.
Another literary analysis that the author has used, was repetition. The phrase “there has been no years” was used several times by the author. What he means by the phrase, is that he sensed he was going back in time, to a moment of when he was a child at the lake. The use of the author’s tone is profound when he speaks of the lake. The author is showing that he had and still has so much appreciation and gratitude to that old vacation spot, which is the lake. That lake made him feel like a young boy that will never grow up to be old. The author feels like the lake keeps him in a stable place of being a young boy. This young boy, is the same boy that makes him have many emotions regarding his past. Another reminder that White uses, is the horse-drawn carriage that was used for transportation. He mentions, that back then in his days, there were three tracks. Present time, the author mentions that the three tracks now became two tracks, since people mostly use vehicles instead. He contrasts the past to the present and how the lifestyle has changed.
Throughout the essay, the author’s tone changes from being emotional to becoming bothered. The despise he has for the outboard motors, gives the reader an idea that White dislikes the use of present technology. His visionary of the past, is moved in a downhill manner to when the author recalls the outboard motors that seemed to annoy him. That memory in specific, had a negative impact on the memories that the author would recall. A deep meaningful memory that White has mentioned, is about the thunderstorms. The thunderstorms exemplify the rejuvenation of his childhood. The rain, lightning, and thunderstorm seem to play a big role in for the memories that White would recall every now and then. When the author sees his son playing out in the rain, that scenery reminds him of his past self as a young boy. He seems to relate and reflect every event happening in the present to the past.
All those deep memories, obviously had great impacts both negatively and positively towards the author. He seemed to be touched by everything that has happened and almost remembered everything. The use of imagery and emotion in the novel, is a way to make the reader sense what the author had sensed in a way. White used rich affection and empathy towards his writings of the past.