Once More To The Lake


Once More To The Lake Essay, Research Paper


In the short story Once More to the Lake, by E.B. White, he tells us of a time he returned to a favorite childhood place with his son. The place was a camp on a lake in Maine that he went to as a child with his family every August for a month.

In the story White describes the longing “for the placidity of a lake in the woods”. He then decides to take his son who “never had any fresh water up his nose” to the lake of his childhood. As he begins his journey he wonders if the lake will be as he remembers it or if it will be “marred this unique, holy spot”. He speaks of this place as if it were some reverent sacred place of the past, as if it were some ancient burial ground.

Although some aspects of the lake had changed and the tar led to within a half a mile of the shore, the camp they occupied was much like he remembered. During this time he noticed the illusion of his son becoming him and he becoming his father, a sensation of a dual existence.

He became aware of this feeling many times, usually when he did some activity that he did as a child. He felt this way when he did for his son what his father had done for him, or when he said the words his father use to say to him.

As White describes the first morning fishing, he remembers the familiar feel of the moss in the bait can and the sight of the dragonfly on the tip of the rod. It is the dragonfly that convinces him that everything was the same and the years had not been. The boat was the same, the green color, the broken ribs and the same fresh water leaves and debris. The ducking of the dragonfly was the same as it had been years before. As he looked at his son holding his rod, he saw his own hands that once held the rod. He continues to remember the past and at some point becomes aware of his own mortality. He is very aware of the circle of life.

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