Analysis of “Once More on the Lake”
In the short story “Once More to the Lake,” E.B. White uses elements such as diction, similes, and imagery to convey a message to the audience that the lake with which he was once very familiar as a child has not changed, and he seems to be reliving his past with his own son.
E.B. White begins the passage by recalling old memories with his father at a lake in Maine. He reminisced about the lake and the serenity it offered him and other campers when he was a child. This “holy spot” has then become a traditional summer vacation for him and his family. After settling down in a camp, White realizes everything was left the same since his last visit to the lake. “I could tell it was going to be pretty much the same as it had been left before -- I knew it, lying in bed for 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 in my father.” By engaging in simple activities such as picking up boxes or laying down a table fork, White feels he is living a dual existence. By reiterating everything his father and White did, it seems that he is living his childhood over again.
As the story progresses, White notices some changes in the lake that seem to affect its old scenery. He uses imagery to show the shift in technology which seems to be one of the only innovations made to the lake. One instance in which White notices a change occurs when he spots a difference in the sound the motor of the boat made. This was said to have broken the illusion of White living in his past-time. The old motor, an inboard, was used when White was a child compared to the new outboard motor in the boats at the lake. He uses a simile in the scene in which the new outboard motor made a “petulant, irritable sound at night . . . they whined about ears like mosquitoes.”
At the end of the story, E.B....