I Used to Live Here Once
3 Pages

I Used to Live Here Once

Course Number: ENG 125, Spring 2011

College/University: Ashford University

Word Count: 741

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Running Heading: I Use to 1 I Used to Live Here Once The short story I choose was I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys. I believe that this story is fairly mysterious because it is about a woman who seems to be a ghost visiting her childhood home. Rhys used I in the title, which makes readers believe that the story is written in first person, but uses third person in story. She is very descriptive about all of...

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Heading: Running I Use to 1 I Used to Live Here Once The short story I choose was I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys. I believe that this story is fairly mysterious because it is about a woman who seems to be a ghost visiting her childhood home. Rhys used I in the title, which makes readers believe that the story is written in first person, but uses third person in story. She is very descriptive about all of the surroundings in the story. She makes sure to leave out no details regardless if the reader realizes it or not. This is why I feel that Jean Rhys I Used to Live Here Once is not about where she use to live, but it is about a woman remembering the first time she knew that she was dead. The story takes place by the river. It doesnt state the specific location of where this place is. The narrator states that the main character is by river and that it leads to an old unfinished road. She sees how certain things havent changed and others have. For instance, The felled trees had not been cleared away and the bushes looked trampled. When she follows this road it leads her to the home where she once lived. The story is being told by a narrator who is unidentified. The narrator discusses the main characters every move in the story. From her description I believe that the main character is trying to find a connection to her old home. In the story the main character doesnt realize that she is dead until she tries to communicate with the two children that are in front of the house she grow up in. She realizes because it seems as if they are ignoring her, but in actuality to them she isnt even there. When she gets closer to them they get cold and I believe this is when she realized that they could not have acknowledged her because she was deceased. Symbolism is one of the literary elements used in this story. When the little boy says, Hasn't it gone cold all of a sudden, I think writer that is trying to telling the readers that the main character is dead in this line because usually when an individual dies they become cold. Another example is when the narrator described the womens surroundings as a blue day and I Used to 2 that they sky looked glassy, which can be a symbolism that she had drowned in the river and the water clouds her view of the sky. I believe that the lady is happy, which can also be a symbolism that she is free and has an opportunity to unite with the place she once lived. There was the round unsteady stone, the pointed one, the flat one in the middle the safe stone where you could stand and look around, is another example. I feel that the unsteady stone can be a symbol of her confusion about why she is there. I believe that the pointed stone is the one that leads her to her childhood home and the safe stone is her childhood home because this is a place where she once felt safe. I feel that this story doesnt have a plot. I say this because it is written in modern text which seems distanced from time and action. It is more descriptive than what a story with a plot would be and there is only a small amount of action. I believe that the story isnt completed because there is an unexpected ending that has no solution to the characters conflict, which can cause the readers to be left with some confusion. The literary elements select affect the narrative theme because they help visualize what is going on in the story. The setting is well detailed and although there isnt a specific location, the reader can visual see what the author is describing. The character shows how when we die we look for a place of comfort, which can is why I feel that she ends up in her old home. The symbolism utilized in the story helps the author describe certain things without just saying and it makes the short story more creative. Reference I Used to 3

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