“on Coming Home” – Joan Didion

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“On Coming Home” – Joan Didion
In this essay Joan Didion tried to compare and contrast life in the two separate places and realities she called home; The home of her birth and the home of her marriage which are totally different.
Didion’s style is mainly that of storytelling. In her attempt to connect her two lives and show how difficult it was to reconnect to the home of her childhood, Didion takes the reader through a roller coster of rhythms. Note how she omits the use of conjunctions between words or phrases to produce a hurried rhythm, at another instance she over used the conjunction “and” in quick succession making the words feel like they are bouncing off the walls, and quickly returns to standard sentence structure to slow the pace. Didion seems to pay attention to details and dates as she described the content of the cupboard she tried to clean out; a bathing suit she wore when she was seventeen, a letter of rejection, three teacups and the 1954 photograph.
Her tone mostly conveyed frustration. Frustration about losing and missing the home of her birth, her family, whose ways she had grown so use to; Frustration about the husband who is very much unlike them, unlike her. Frustration about the decay all around; physical and social. This frustration so real, she even spoke about them in the present tense. Interesting as it was, this essay left me totally exhausted and overwhelmed.
How It Feels to Be Colored Me – Zora Neale Hurston
What an overwhelming relief and exhilaration. I am glad I read this essay just after reading Didion. What a sharp contrast in style, and diction, and attitude, and tone, and outlook on life.
This essay simply was a joy to read. The reader is captivated right from the outset with the use of humor, metaphors, imagery and sometimes even self deprecation. The tone is mainly conversational and tells the story of self-pride,…...

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