Inconspicuous reality: isolated families and humble lives.

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Inconspicuous reality: isolated families and humble lives. (written by fionalct) What “family” and “life” really are? By reading through Joan Didion’s “On going home” and E. B. White’s “Once more to the lake”, this question suddenly comes across my mind. Family is a group of people who share the same blood, which is consisted of parents and their sons and daughters, but Didion tried to tell us from the story that family is something more than “parents and offspring”. Human life is the greatest masterpiece gifted by the Lord, yet White indicated that life is the greatest godsend only when they are not compared with the nature. From their personal essay, we can see things that are used to be neglected but ought not to be missed. “On going home” is all about a personal experience relating to a visit to the writer’s childhood family, revealing the fragmentation of once close-knit family, by telling the communication gap between her husband and her brother, as if her new family (with husband) as well as the childhood family (with her parents and relatives). The gap is especially apparent when Didion states that “my brother does not understand my husband’s inability to perceive the advantages in the rather common real-estate transaction known as ’sale-leaseback’”(1), neither her husband can understand ”why so many of the people he hears about in my father’s house have recently be committed to mental hospital” (1)as well. Her brother even used “Joan’s husband” as a character emotionally separated from her family to describe her husband, reinforcing the cleft between two families. “My husband likes my family but is uneasy in their house, because once there I fall into their ways, which are difficult, oblique, deliberately inarticulate, not my husband’s way”(Didion 1) shows not only her own experience of family segmentation, but also reflects the current situation
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