Intro to Composition
16 October 2019
In Joan Didions, On Going Home she recreates the feelings and thoughts of what many go through once they grow up and find their new home. Throughout the story Didion tries to find herself in the place she grew up.
Didion starts the narrative by explaining where she still considers her home to be. Its not the house she lives with her husband and daughter, its where her family lives. Her thoughts on where her home is are very significant because everyone can have a house, but not everyone can make that house into their home. Throughout the story her tone is mostly sad but frustrated, like when she talks about how her husband that doesnt like her family and vice versa. She explains how he doesnt like when she goes back home because she becomes more like her family and into a person he does not recognize. Its like she has two different identities, one in Los Angeles with her husband and one in California with her family.
There was an instance where her husband wrote dust along the surface with his finger. Her husband didnt understand what her family talked about, or why they acted the way they did. When she was stating this, it was as if she was frustrated that he didnt understand them but at the same time she understood why, because her family wasnt like most families. They stayed in the past and didn’t welcome outsiders too well. They made Joans husband feel like he wasnt welcome which was a frequent theme. Nonetheless, her husband tries to avoid her family to the extent of not being there for his daughter’s birthday which hints that their marriage is not the strongest. This gets clearer when Joan says she starts to dread talking to her husband and how she lived a, remote life back in Los Angeles.
Throughout this narrative, it was as if Joan didnt know where she belonged or who she was. When shes with her family she gossips and becomes the young her again, the one that talks about her crazy family members and what theyve been through. Once she leaves, she isnt the same person she was with her family anymore but wants to find out why. She goes back to her old room and looks through the drawers as if shes searching for herself in a way. In the drawer she finds a rejection letter and a photograph of her grandpa which she sees no resemblance in. These objects seemed like the most significant because they both obviously meant a lot to her but also reminded her that she doesnt belong or doesnt know where to belong. She realizes a deep disconnection with the things she finds and that her answers arent there. The one thing that happens time and time again is she doesnt talk about her feelings with anyone. She couldve simply talked to her husband or her family about how she feels irrelevant, but she just kept quiet.