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In the Lake of the Woods

  • Date Submitted: 06/06/2010 01:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 78 
  • Words: 1083
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In the novel, In the Lake of the Woods, by Tim O’ Brien, John Wade and his wife Kathy Wade flee to a cabin secluded on the Minnesota side of the Lake of the Woods after John lost the Senate election. On the seventh night of their “vacation”, Kathy mysteriously vanishes as well as the one boat at the cabin. More than a month later, John Wade takes off in a different small boat, supposedly to search for Kathy, and he heads out into the lake and disappears in the abyss. Although it is unsure as to what happened to Kathy and John Wade, there are many different hypotheses that could be viable to the crazed mystery. One of these clearly stands out and it is that John Wade killed his innocent wife, Kathy Wade, and then he disappeared to avoid prison.
It all began with John Wade having a tough childhood. When he was young, his father did not treat him well and he felt rejected and alone. His father teased him about his weight and it was because John’s father was an alcoholic. John used to go in front of a mirror and practice magic tricks to keep his mind off of his father. When John was fourteen, his father hung himself and John did not take it well even though he was not treated well. The following quote explains how John had a hard time coping with his father’s death in the voice of his mother, “John never accepted it. I’d hear him in his room at night; he’d be having these make-believe conversations with his father. Just like me, he wanted explanations- he wanted to know why- but I guess we both finally had to come up with our own pathetic answers” (O’Brien 197). This affected John psychologically and while he was in college, he developed an attachment to Kathy, and began spying on her because he developed a fear in losing someone he loved. In early November of 1966, John began spying on Kathy. He compared it to his magic and how it was a quick and powerful rush. The fact that John Wade spied on Kathy, and Kathy know it, should have been a red flag. Even Kathy’s...


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