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On Going Home - Essay Example

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This is the "On Going Home" essay. The story starts when Joan Didion starts to describe her definition of home. Joan argues that home is not her house. …
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Extract of sample "On Going Home"

Download file to see previous pages The mention of a home makes her behave in an awkward and inarticulate manner judging by her husband’s response (p.134). We get a bit on the character of her husband through his sentiments about his wife’s behavior and home. He maintains that back home makes her wife change into somebody he doesn’t recognize. The failure to attend the birthday of his daughter back home says a lot about his feeling about the home. He comes off as a difficult person. The way Joan lives doesn’t make it back at home. Joan has sentimental value with the home with the dusty nature and the memories it has. However, her husband doesn’t view any values with the home. The dust in the home holds significance in describing their lives. It shows the lifestyle the family leads and the work that needs to change it. In case they encounter challenges in their lives, they clear their minds until it all settles down. The way they handle the problems in life creates a contrast between her home in California and that in Los Angeles. Joan shows the difference by stating, “We miss each other’s points, have another drink and regard the fire”. Joan embraces the way her husband deals with problems. Joan feels the urge to connect with her family back home. However, she doesn’t act on the feeling and lets it fade away. It doesn’t do good to solve the problem. Joan relives on her new way of life while describing the current generation as the “Last to carry the burden of home (p.135).” An example that she gave when she encountered “A young woman on crystal take her clothes off and dance or the cash prize in an “amateur-topless contest”.  If it were her generation, the lady would have felt shame in going topless for a contest as it would have brought shame to her family. She believes that the current generation has total disregard for honoring one’s family. Joan notes the differences; however, “Some nameless anxiety colored the emotional charges between me and the place that I came from.” The family has various means of communication in comparison to the rest of society. Her home devices a means of addressing something without actually saying it. The problems that Joan faces in her adult life could be a result of the lack of expression of her feelings to her daughter and husband. Joan embarks on a mission to find solutions to her troubles. She feels that “I am trapped in this particular irrelevance I never more apparent to me than when I am home (p.135).” Joan acknowledges the fact that spending time with at home turns her into them. The fact makes her miss them much. Didion feels paralyzed with the objects in her home growing up. Joan goes from room to room as she cleans out some drawers. Joan runs into items from her past. It includes a bathing suit, Nation’s rejection letter, and a land site where her father planned to design a shopping mall. Didion also gets three teacups that were hand-painted by her grandmother and a picture of her grandparent’s skiing. Each item on her hands told a story and meant a great deal to her. She runs out of words while expressing her feelings. She feels the sense of value that the items brought to her life. A realization comes to Joan when she holds her grandfather’s picture in her hand. She realizes there is little resemblance between the two. The realization of the difference with her family alienates her more. She believes that not taking after her father with looks only detaches Joan more from the family. Heavy with thoughts on her mind, she sips a cup of coffee while engaging in a conversation with her mother. “We get along well, veterans of a guerilla war we never understood.” The revelation strengthens the bond with her mother. The newfound connection with Joan makes her open to visiting her family’s graveyard. She gets in her car and travels towards the cemetery. However, a certain fear struck her when she arrived. She recalls how, as a toddler, she ran into a snake in the grass. She becomes fixed to the ground as she realizes that she has an attachment with her family, which makes her part of it. Didion feels her newfound hope is enough to take her daughter to visit her aunts. Running into her cousin strikes confusing conservation that leads to questions that do not relate to her. Joan avoids any further questions by agreeing she resides in New York City even though she resides in Los Angeles. She further lies by not stating that she is not her cousin. She pretends not to spark a conflict. The lies that she tells paints her inability to communicate with others. The end of the short visit to the great aunts marks the start of the birthday celebrations for her daughter. Joan takes the celebration as a new start in her life. She wants to raise her daughter in a manner she gains a strong sense of family. She also wants to teach her how to be independent. When night time comes, she makes a promise to give her child a funny story in addition to her birthday presents. Joan is trying to create an escape by looking at the positive side of things. She believes that it is her mission to strengthen the connection between her child and his family. The ongoing home essay shows that Joan doesn’t want her child to grow up in the same manner that she did. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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