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Response To On Going Home Essay

896 words - 4 pages

According to Joan Didion's essay "On Going Home", continuing changes in life makes it almost impossible to remove memories of one's past. Especially when one has been away from a previous home, which that person was raised, then return to that same home a number of years later. In a home which family and friends shared memories of events, news, gossip and situations, whether it be bad or good. Old artifacts and various family heirlooms in the home that stimulates a memory of those old times when used. Surrounding areas of that old home are remembered just as well also. Being in a new home makes the old memories even more missed. These may be the strongest influences in why memories are kept and remembered.

When someone is away from their original home, meaning a home that the certain person was raised and grew up at, there is no doubt that the home will be missed. It would be forgotten but only at a certain extent. An extent that things will be remembered about that home every time someone relates something to it. But when a person is returned to that old home, like Didian, the memories are even more apparent than while away from home. Didain was overloaded with memories that were once forgotten. These memories are forgotten, and then quickly aroused with a simple touch, sight, smell or sound. People have different relations with memories and how they conceive them, but Didian makes it very apparent that these memories about a home that is missed and forgotten exists inside of us all.

Physical items such as family heirlooms, "teacups"(Didian 373), or the condition of a house are strong reminders of past memories. Instead of a thought trying to relate one thing to another, an object can have it's own history. That person may have used the object at a time in life that was forgotten but now remembered. A time in life when the person's thought process was simple and innocent, but now full of complexity and troubles. Some of these items might even share some memories with other family members and generations. These items may be lifeless, but they do hold significance in people's lives and fill their life with memories.

A memory wouldn't be a memory without some sort of background. In Didian's essay, recollections of rivers, mountain roads and ranches are described. These settings are a person's surroundings and habitat. The biggest thing in one's memory would be the location where you would live. So immense that the simple human mind hardly has the capacity to...

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