Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone? & On Going Home

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When reading non-fiction we have to think critically about what the writer is trying to convey in their piece. We look at formalist criticism and historical criticism, to see if there is anything that belong in either of those two categories. Writers also can also use different strategies in order to convey their thesis or themes. The non-fiction works that I have chosen are “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” by Andrew Lam and “On Going Home” by Joan Didion. I will discuss their theme and how Lam and Didion conveyed that theme into their work and for what purpose and to whom it was for. I will also discuss why it is considered a piece of non-fiction and how imagination plays a part in the selected stories.
Who Will Light
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Didion is explaining that the term home, now has a different meaning to the younger generation. She explains how she feels about being home and what she wishes for her young daughter. She exclaims how she cannot give the life or feeling of “home” to her daughter, like she had. “…would like to give her home for her birthday, but we life differently now and I can promise her nothing like that.” (p.637)
Strategy Purpose & Audience Didion is trying to convey the feeling of being home again. Even though Didion is getting into her thirties, married, with a child and with a home of her own, being at the place she grew up brings unexpected feelings. “…and yet I was almost thirty years old before I could talk to my family on the telephone without crying after I had hung up.” (p.636) During the time that Didion left home, the idea that you were never able to come home again weighted heavy on your mind. The purpose of this story could be to see if anyone still felt the same way about being home, like she did. Anyone who has left home, and wished to come back could relate to this

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