The noted author, and poet, Maya Angelou is known for her infamous literary works. She was a woman of wisdom. According to poet Angelou, “you can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” When individuals journey to the place they call home, it is not the journey, nor the destination, it is the connection to the memories of the past, present, future. Home is an experience. It is the observance of rituals, traditions, shared family values, and familiarity.
While working on a college essay, I became interested in the literary works of Joan Didion. In On Going Home a short story by the author, Joan Didion shares her feelings of returning to her birthplace to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. Currently sharing a home with her husband and daughter in another state, Didion calls her native place of birth home because this is where she hold her fondest memories.
Throughout the story, Didion shares memories of conversations with family members. Some of the conversations were spent mostly at the family dinner table. It is interesting to see the writer’s openness about details most would consider private family secrets.
In the story, it is surprising to see the author’s willingness to share details of her family’s shortcomings since many families are not as candid. Didion reveals the conversations about family members they knew either in mental hospitals, on drugs, or dealing with drunk-driving charges. Also, she is forthcoming when revealing her brother’s disconnect to her husband.
Didion points out her husband does not relate to her upbringing, although he likes her family. She describes her husband as feeling comfortable mostly at home with her. He enjoys their way of living they are accustom.
In the disclosure of her true feelings, Didion demonstrates the familiarity of an environment is what makes an individual feel at home. It was obvious Didion and her husband’s upbringings and perspectives were worlds apart.
The theme in this story is home is in the heart. After reading Didion’s story, apparently her heart was in one place considered home while her while her husband’s heart was another.
The truth is- home is a place one feels comfortable and connected. It’s apparent home is not always a tangible place, or a place of lavish extravagance but a place of love, security, and comfort. The relevance of this truth is evident when some find themselves in a physical home where abuse and violence occurs.