dandelion wine - Mankind derives its greatest pains from...

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Mankind derives its greatest pains from re-living joyful memories while living in a mediocre present. People often dwell in the past to forget about their current situations, but sadly some dwell to the point where they no longer have a present life. Ray Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine illustrates the tragic situation through Mrs. Bentley, an old woman who surrounds herself with memorabilia from her past. The elderly widow befriends Tom and two girls during a chance meeting one summer’s day. The two girls, Alice and Jane, challenge Mrs. Bentley’s lifestyle by refusing to believe her nostalgic stories. The girls’ mockery of her present life and a ghostly brush with her past force Mrs. Bentley to realize the feebleness of her life as she eventually becomes increasingly aware of her aloneness. Bradbury introduces Mrs. Bentley as “a saver. She saves tickets, old theater programs, bits of lace, scarves, rail transfers; all the tags and tokens of existence” (Bradbury, 50). Mrs. Bentley lives in the past, dwelling on things she cannot possibly change. As a result the old woman has wound up being the most pitiful resident of Green Town, and surely the most alone. Often found talking to herself, Mrs. Bentley has not had a companion since age sixty-eight, “right after John died” (50). Mrs. Bentley admits that she lives “in a very strange town, left with only the trunks and furniture, dark and ugly, crouched about her like the features of a primordial zoo” (50). Mrs. Bentley however does not acknowledge the pitiful nature of her aloneness. Even though she has surrounded herself with objects from her past and lacks company, Mrs. Bentley
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Spring '06 term at Michigan State University.

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dandelion wine - Mankind derives its greatest pains from...

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