In the Lake of the Woods Essay

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“In the Lake of the Woods” is a non-linear novel by Tim O’ Brien that consists of the themes trauma and insecurity. The protagonist of the text, John Wade is driven into insanity due to his fear of losing the love of his life, Kathy. Throughout the novel, john Wade’s secrets are exposed to the world, this being the reason that ended his career as a politician, which was the final push towards his madness. Wade was not only affected by his shattering moment in his career, but his childhood and experiences of war in Vietnam left him traumatized and feeling unworthy of love. John begins to crave love at an early stage I his life, after he meets Kathy he develops an obsession for her and becomes dependent on her love. He faces many issues with Kathy, trust being the main one; this could potentially be the reason for John’s breakdown of sanity. Although Kathy played a large role in his life and downfall, there was a whole other range of factors that took part in his fall to insanity.

John Wade started off his career with a goal in mind, to become something important in the political world. As he progressed through his career, he became aware of the fact that his past could ruin what he was currently building. Wade, as a child learnt to deal with his problems by bottling them up and pretending nothing had happened “this could not have happened. Therefore it did not” John believes that if he lies to himself, and continuously blocks out memories of his dirty past, he would be safe from the secrets. His method did not serve to his likings, as his secrets were exposed to the world despite John’s lies to himself. The secrets of his partaking in the massacre of “Thuan Yen” were exposed during his election, which proved to be a “career ender”. John used his career as a politician to gain the love and affection he so deeply desired. Growing up, he didn’t receive the love he craved, “you show me a politician and I’ll show you an unhappy childhood.” John losing the election...
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