Novel Essay 4

Novel Essay 4 - Ryan Wisneski AML 3311 Due: November 1st,...

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Ryan Wisneski AML 3311 Due: November 1 st , 2010 Novel Essay #4 In Tim O’Brien’s novel In the Lake of the Woods we follow the main character John Wade through the disappearance of his wife and the flashbacks of past events that have shaped the man he is today. In the story we are shown personal details about the atrocities that John has lived through and the reaction and change that takes place on him due to the strenuous circumstances. Two of the most devastating events in his life being, the suicide of his father while John was a child, and the massacre at Thuan Yen that he was a part of while serving during the Vietnam War. With these painful experiences John is put in, starting at a young age with the mental abuse from his alcoholic father, we see his character turn to magic as a coping mechanism. The theme of magic, mystery, and secrecy, continues throughout the novel and lets the reader see the profound effect these themes have on John’s life. To understand John’s character fully we must dive into his obsession with magic and see how it takes over his whole life. John knows that magic is not real even at a young age but we see a development later in life when he is in Vietnam and after where it has become a reality for him. “This was not true magic. It was trickery. But John Wade sometimes pretended otherwise, because he was a kid then, and because pretending was the thrill of magic…”(O'Brien) This attitude that Wade has as a child changes however when in Vietnam secrecy becomes the root of his existence and the illusion must become somewhat real to him. While in Vietnam he uses magic to see take away from the intensity and devastation that it truly is. “Sorcerer was in his element. It was a place with secret trapdoors and tunnels and underground chambers populated
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Novel Essay 4 - Ryan Wisneski AML 3311 Due: November 1st,...

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