The Biggest Trick of In the Lake of the Woods

The Biggest Trick of In the Lake of the Woods - P age |1...

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P a g e | 1 The Biggest Trick of In the Lake of the Woods Brian Henry 20:39:32 John Wade lived a tumultuous life. From losing his father at an early age, to losing an election in the worst possible way after a scandal rocked his campaign, John’s life was filled with loss and despair. This loss affected John in a way no one could really understand, because John never expressed his emotions. He was secretive in nature, and people could rarely tell what was on his mind. This seclusion led John to cope with loss via magic tricks. John did not know how to respond to loss of such a big magnitude, and magic was the only thing there for him to cope with. Magic skewed John’s perception of reality versus imagination, in a way that distorts his adult life as a soldier, politician and husband: John depends more and more on magic as his life goes on, and in the end it does him in because the trick was on him. From the beginning, John Wade is interested in magic. Magic started as a neat little hobby for an imaginative young boy, but it quickly turned into something that John needed to live a sane life. According to John’s mother, Eleanor, “he used to practice down in the basement, just stand in front of that old mirror of his and do tricks for hours and hours…Always alone, always shut up by himself” (25). This aloneness became exaggerated after the death of his father. John received the news of his father’s death very poorly, and he turned to his magic to help him escape from the cruelness of reality. Death is an devastating event that no one can control, and John turns to magic because he knows that with magic, he controls everything. Robert Parrish describes magic as a “paradox, a riddle, a half-fulfillment of ancient desires, a puzzle, a torment, a cheat, and a truth” (96). This is what fascinates John, because as a magician, he knew secrets
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P a g e | 2 that others did not. As John became more and more involved in magic, this quest for absolute knowledge began to haunt him. He wants to know every secret, and control every aspect of his life, and the lives of those around him. This is a backlash of sorts to
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course ENGL 011 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Lehigh University .

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The Biggest Trick of In the Lake of the Woods - P age |1...

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