What is White's purpose in the essay "Once More to the Lake"?

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In this emotionally complex essay, White processes a trip he took with his own son to revisit a lake where his family vacationed when he was a child.

The return to a place of childhood memories is complicated because he is now the parent of a son the age he was when he first vacationed at the lake. His memories of being a carefree child on the lake are now overlaid with the realization that he has taken on the role of his father. He sees in memory the boy he once was and also sees superimposed over that the reality that his son has now assumed his childhood role. He both remembers his father and realizes that he now is playing his father's role.

The fact that he is no longer a carefree boy playing on the lake with an endless vista of future ahead brings home to White the reality of his own mortality. Time passes. All people grow up, grow old, and die. Memories become bittersweet because they reinforce that time has passed and can't return.

White impresses on us that repeating what you did...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 903 words.)

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