In The Lake Of The Woods Analysis

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Relating John Wade and Historical Vietnam in Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods
Looking at the themes in the Vietnam war through Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods show the atrocities committed by American troops through a new light, almost more sympathetic, but with a very harsh connotation. The usage of evidence chapters in the novel pushes the story forward by using real world history combined with the interviews with “people” who knew John Wade and were connected to him. Looking at these it can be inferred that O’Brien is trying to describe the horrors that he saw in both the My Lai area and Vietnam in his tour of duty there. The way the events that transpired in Vietnam are described in the book is there is a section of narrative,
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The usage of evidence chapters related and returns the story to historical Vietnam, through the usage of created people, interviews, and the real My Lai massacre.
The My Lai massacre is represented as a pivotal point in the novel, where John Wade’s character is explained a good bit more, as his inner demons are exposed, and the drastic loss of his senate bid is explained. The “Evidence” chapters in the novel are Tim O’Brien’s way of giving details about both the massacre and the setting in Vietnam, without embellishing “The Nature of…” chapters to include lots of almost superfluous details. Included in the “Evidence” chapters are many excerpts from real court martials and historical documents that are used by O’Brien to relate his work of fiction to the real war, in more than just
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troops going through Vietnam. There were countless places she could be, the lake is deep and with so many inlets, there were infinite places she could have disappeared to. This is comparable to the Viet Cong, who had entrenched basically the whole of Vietnam with tunnels and traps, creating an infinite amount of places for them to hid and kill the troops. John’s fear of what might have happened to Kathy is similar to what happened in Vietnam, fearing land mines, ambushes, and the unknown. Looking through the events that transpired in the novel, John is afraid of losing Kathy because she was like his rock, he always felt more comfortable around her, and he was happy to go back to her. When she disappeared he became moodier and temperamental. He was lost without her, similarly to how O’Brien describes him during his time in Vietnam, always writing letters home to

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