Analysis of In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien

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Analysis of In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien In the Lake of the Woods is a fictional mystery written by Tim O'Brien. Through the book we learn that our lovers, husbands, and wives have qualities beyond what our eyes can see. John Wade and Kathy are in a marriage so obscure that their secrets lead to an emotional downfall. After John Wade loss in his Senatorial Campaign, his feeling towards Kathy take on a whole different outlook. His compulsive and obsessive behavior causes Kathy to distance herself from him. His war experience and emotional trauma are a major cause for his strange behavior. We remain pondering about Kathy's mysterious disappearance, which becomes fatal for her. Possible scenarios are presented in eight chapters marked 'Hypothesis', these chapters add a mysterious twist which can change our train of thought to 'maybe' or 'perhaps' this is the truth. Kathy's odd disappearance is haunting the reader all the way throughout the novel. Her husband?s unstable emotional being is somewhat a key to the mystery. We examine his inner thoughts and simultaneous occurrences, but we are still left guessing. There are various situations that lead to multiple possibilities of Kathy?s disappearance. Did John eat Kathy? Did she take the boat and vanish, or did John murder her, and hide her in the Lake of the Woods? These are all possible hypotheses that will be looked into and taken apart to find out what really happened to Kathy. He wanted to swim through her blood and climb up and down her spine and drink from her ovaries and press his gums against the firm red muscle of her heart. He wanted to suture their lives together.? This quote can portray Johns disturbed mind set, we see that he is consumed with rage ... ... middle of paper ... ...an actor if he is not guilty of anything? John has many secrets one being the whereabouts of Kathy. He probably knew information on Kathy, but he kept it a secret. All in all, In the Lake of the Woods takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. The three hypotheses listed above are all possible explanations to Kathy?s disappearance. Did John at Kathy? Did she take the boat and vanish, or did John murder her and hide her in the Lake of the Woods? A very poignant statement is made by the narrator and he is very accurate when he says ?One way or another, it seems, we all perform vanishing tricks, effacing history, locking up our lives and slipping day by day into the graying shadows. Our whereabouts are uncertain. All secrets lead to the dark, and beyond the dark there is only maybe.? The truth is though, Kathy has disappeared and she?s never coming back.

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