What is the dominant impression of "Once More To The Lake?" what is the thesis (main idea) of this story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The dominant impression of the short story concerns the passage of time and how memories fade in the face of change.  Adding to these impressions is the role of technology, the eroding nature of memory, and the passage of time changing the way White views his past memories of the lake.  The main idea of this work is that our ability to recollect is an intricate process that involves both positive and negative experiences.  Throughout the work, we see that White contrasts his tender memories of the lake as a youth with the complex emotions he undergoes examining the same lake as an adult.  The innocent joy as a child has been replaced with a growth of technology and a different conception of White's own identity as an adult examining the place of his childhood joy.