This idea, too, repeats, almost as often as the back-and-forth process, this idea of first, a release from captivity (in the opening sentence) and, later, as the reality of it begins to sink in, this first day of freedom.
Ironically, however, the latehomecomer feels crowded and restricted, even on this first day of freedom. If only crowded by the amount of change he must adjust to in short order.
“This was the hour when, in Brittany, I would begin peeling the potatoes for dinner.”
As difficult as some past experiences obviously were (in wartime and, afterwards, many years of scarcity and struggle), everything in the here-and-now is unfamiliar.
So much is shared in this short story, so many years passing in memory, so many losses: it seems that there should be a trail of dates, like a diary, heralding readers’ movement through a substantial amount of time.