In The Lake Of The Woods
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In the Lake Of the Woods
The novel that I have selected is In the Lake of the Woods by author Tim O'Brien who also serves as the narrator of the story. The plot of the book revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Kathy, but there is also the inclusion of some War events in the story. So the genre of this novel is Mystery and War because it has both the plots. The addition of such events makes the main idea quite evident in the story. The narrator explains that in 36 hours Kathy will disappear, upon this realization John is devastated by the loss of his wife and thinks that this is the end of his life. After that event of both future and past are narrated, the events of the story keep shifting past and present. While describing the history of John his entire life is recounted to the current point where Kathy is missing. The novel is narrated though as a nonlinear narrative with heavy emphasis on suspense till the very end. Through the experiences of John's life, it is proven that John might have been responsible for the death of his wife.
The story of In the Lake of the Woods is narrated in a nonlinear manner from a third, first and second person perspective. The plots shifts between the events of the present past and future. The main events occur in the present and during this current time in which John is dealing with the disappearance of his wife. Even when the events are happening in the present the life of John is narrated from his childhood to the till the time of his Vietnam War and his political life. When the novel shifts back to present it discusses the events surrounding the disappearance of Kathy. Different hypotheses are given, and the essential assumption is that John might have killed Kathy (Rusak and Mosindy p.p.383-395). When the narrator indicates that Katy is about to disappear, then it is referring to events of the future. The story begins with present and the events keep shifting throughout the novel and narration is performed through the nonlinear perspective of events.
The novel begins as the author Tim O'Brien describes the arrival at the lake in the woods. They are trying to find a place where they can come close to each other. At this point, the events are occurring at present. This point serves as the beginning of the story, and the events from past and future are not discussed at this moment. " 'You do love me?' ‘More than anything' "(O'Brien, p.p.7). This event is occurring at the beginning of the novel in the present time, but soon the events in novel shifts to the past and the facts from John's past life are narrated. Kathy asks John do you love me and John relay that more than anything after that they just lay there listening to the humming sound of the river.
After this narration, the events shifts to the past life of John starting from the childhood and the nonlinear narrative of the story come into play. The events shifts to the death of John's father and describes how John wanted to blow life in his father would say " I'll stop, I'll stop." (O'Brien, p.p.15) His father was a bully, and this sentence gives the first indication of that event. His father was manipulator like John, so he knew all too well to make John believe otherwise the right shift from current events of the present to the events of past creates a nonlinear narrative, and when the narrator makes a statement about Kathy's disappearance, it involves future too. So the concept of time is mingled. He also receives the letter to start life in Canada all over again which means someone has seen him doing the deed. The disturbed life of John gives us some indication regarding his responsibility for the death of his wife.
The entire story of In the Lake of the Woods is narrated through a nonlinear narrative. The story is told through the events of both past and present with a hint of future through the words of the narrator. The hypotheses that are created in the end are heavily dependent on this nonlinear narration of the story. When different events of the story from the different time are combined, then it makes sense of the entire situation. The bullied life of John and the behavior of John shows us that John might be responsible for Kathy's death.
O'Brien, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods. , 2013. Internet resource.
Rusak, J. A., and T. Mosindy. "Seasonal movements of lake sturgeon in Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River, Ontario." Canadian Journal of Zoology 75.3 (1997): 383-395.
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