31 August 2009
In both E. B. White’s “Once More to the Lake”, and Scott Russell Sanders’ “The Inheritance of Tools” one theme is quietly echoed throughout the readings. Each of the boys had grown up to be just like their own fathers, not intentionally. Both of these men have just now really seen the role reversal take place, from watching their own fathers work while playing at their feet, to working and having their son’s playing at their feet. This is all too apparent in the actions of the sons.
In White’s “Once More to the Lake”, he is continually reminded that he is no longer the little boy at the lake and has now taken on his father’s role. “ I would be picking up a bait box or laying down a table fork… and suddenly it would be not I but my father who was saying the words or performing the gesture” (White 195). White is watching his son repeat many of the same actions he made as a boy, and it seems to me instead of seeing his son he is watching a glimpse into his past. The more he realizes that he is no longer his son, the more he becomes conscious of the fact that he is getting older and closer to death.
In Sanders’ essay “The Inheritance of Tools”, he explains how he has inherited not only the tools that had belonged to his predecessors but also the skills that allow him to use them. Sanders tells of how he would nail scraps of wood together “to fashion what I called boats or houses, but the results usually bore only fain resemblance to the visions I carried in my head” (204). Now he sees his own son doing the same. At this point in his kids lives, Sanders is teaching them the same things as his father did before him and his father before him.
I believe Nietzche’s comment on the relationship between the father and the son relates to both of these essays it the fact that both of these men had grown up like their father’s and are starting to realize that their son’s will...