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“On Going Home” by John Didion
In “On Going Home”, Didion is exploring her belonging with her two homes by recounting her feelings when she visits her native land to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter. In this exploration, one home is where she grew up with her parents and premarital family while the other one is where she lives after her marriage along with her husband and daughter. The essay “express… experience and a feeling that is ultimately inexpressible” about her inner conflict while comparing and contrasting her life in these two homes (Anderson 14). Though she is content in her new home but the sense of belonging she feels while recalling the experiences of her premarital life in her previous home is nonexistent in her new home.
In this expression, the most important term is ‘guerilla war’, in which it is difficult to tell that who is on which side since the borders between friends and enemies are frequently shifting. For Didion, guerilla war is analogous to a woman’s life after marriage with respect to the conflict between her new and her previous homes. She views herself and her mother as veterans of this guerrilla war yet she insists that they never comprehended this war. In this way, she implies that fighting with the inner conflict of comparing and contrasting previous and new homes is natural in women and they fight this war unconsciously w…
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