On Going Home

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 115 times

Joan Didion begins her story by illustrating what "home"� is to her(p. 134). She describes how her home now is not the place where her husband and daughter live, but in the Central Valley of California with her family. With this introduction, one can sense that she is troubled by the differences between the two. Joan Didion goes on to reveal that her husband is "uneasy"� in her family's home(p. 134). He says that she becomes "difficult, oblique, deliberately, inarticulate,"� which is nothing like the way her husband is(p. 134). This allows the reader to see a side of Joan's husband, obviously he doesn't want to be around people who change his wife into a person that he does not know, but to not even go to his daughter's birthday demonstrates that he is perhaps a difficult person himself.

Joan's home-life is confusing with her family. She says that it is "dusty"� and full of "mementos"� from her life, which her husband holds no value to(p.134).

Living in a dusty house symbolically shows that their lifestyle needs work, and that they both do not pay attention to the minute details. If little problems come up in their lives, they will block them out of their minds and let the dust collect. This is perhaps why she feels that there is a conflict between her home in Central Valley and Los Angeles. Joan validates that point by saying, "we miss each other's points, have another drink and regard the fire(p.134)."� She knows she missed her family, but she just can't find the words to let them know. Instead of confronting the problem, Joan acts like she does with her husband and lets the dilemma sit; once again nothing is solved.

Furthermore, Joan Didion talks about her theory on how her generation...