Whiteâ€™s Once More to the Lake is a narrative essay in which White analyzes his conflict with time. The essential subjects of the piece are time, childhood memories, and, of course, the lake. These subjects are conveyed with a nostalgic, reminiscent tone that denotes the authorâ€™s great longing for these childhood memories to recur. Ultimately, White's essay Once More to the Lake conveys an enormous, internal conflict with time and childhood memories through the use of diction, repetition of imagery, words, and sensory details, and structure of expression that suggests the authorâ€™s abhorrence of change.
Through the use of diction, the author hints that his childhood memories were of great importance to him. White directly speaks of these memories by saying that they were â€œprecious, â€œ and â€œworth saving.â€ He furthers these assertions by characterizing the memories of â€œjollity,â€ â€œpeace,â€ and â€œgoodness.â€ The author, expecting everything to be the â€œsameâ€ in this â€œunique,â€ â€œholy spot,â€ begins noticing that his expectations were cut short. The diction used here gives birth to the conflict, time and chance, by contrasting the conflict as â€œpetulantâ€ and â€œirritable.â€ Indirectly, this furthers his purposes for writing the essay in that the author has a personal connection with these childhood experiences, often speaking of his son as the inheritor of these childhood memories. .
Myriad thoughts are expressed through Whiteâ€™s use of repetition. This rhetorical device is used the most throughout the piece. White most notably expresses this repetition through imagery, choice of words, and rich, grandiloquent language. Numerous images are retold through the use of imagery such as the â€œplacidâ€ and â€œcalmâ€ surface of the lake, which is held to be something very important to the author.