Till Death Do Us Part Essay, Research Paper
Till Death Do Us Part
In The Lake Of The Woods
When John was younger he wanted nothing more than to make his father proud. Yet, no matter what he did it was not good enough for his father. John’s father used to call him “Little Merlin” because he was so intrigued by magic. John would practice magic tricks for hours and hours on end. He liked to do them in front of a mirror. In the mirror, the world was his. Everything was perfect. He was one with the Dad he always wanted in the mirror. John’s father was a serious alcoholic. John and his father used to visit a local magic store. A red haired woman had worked there. John nicknamed her the “Carrot Lady”. The Carrot Lady from the magic store is interesting. Her significance is power. She empowered John to stand up to his father. She would teach John all the magic tricks. John’s father died when John was young. He was not there when his father died and resents that fact.
As time went by, John becomes a grown man full of ambition. He went away to college where he meets his true love. John falls in love with Kathy. He used to follow her around campus and spy on her. His spying on Kathy is borderline absurd. It is somewhat sweet though. Kathy knew he was doing it and she never said a word to him. Their romance blossomed but the war came. John had to leave and fight.
John continued this torrid romance while he was away at war. He often wrote Kathy lengthy letters. He declared his love for her and vowed that she would always be his. John had quite a time in Vietnam. He charmed his fellow comrades with his magic. He earned the nickname “Sorcerer”. He seemed to make the misery of this senseless war disappear. John saw devastation while at war that many of us will never know. He shot and killed many people. John appeared to find pleasure in it at the time. He had no mercy. He was there to do a job. When one does what they are told to do, it sometimes comes with a price to pay. Ma Lai was a place where right and wrong did not exist. Survival was of the utmost importance. John extended his tour in the military for one year. He needed to reclaim his virtue. John’s time in the military was a time of glory and power for him; however, defeat was lurking. He was the Sorcerer. Sin was how the Sorcerer saw war. In the end, John rearranged his military files. He erased his name from the Charlie file and reassigned himself to the Alpha Company. He needed to escape from the guilt that deep down he suffered. After the war and for the rest of his life, John suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome.
He returned home from the war and Kathy was his main focus. She was waiting for him with open arms. John married Kathy and made certain Kathy would never leave him. He was ready to pursue his career in politics. John announced his candidacy. He plans to run on straight issues. Tony Carbo, his right-hand man, has a fascination with Kathy. John did not win the election. Kathy saw the rapture in John’s eyes when he lost the election. At this point, Kathy in a sense has lost her way in life as well. Tony came by late that night and Tony praises Kathy for being so strong. John delivers his concession speech. John’s greatest hope and dream was destroyed. Deep down, Kathy is resentful of John’s losing the election and in his career. After the loss of the election, John and Kathy escape to a lake in Minnesota. They needed to escape the world. At the lake, it becomes obvious how John and Kathy were truly displeased in their lives and struggling to find happiness. They did seem to find hope in their dreams of living in Verona. Their talks of Verona appeared to be a diversion of what was troubling each other. Verona was a common goal for the two of them. They definitely loved each other. They have survived so much in life together. Kathy had an affair with a man named Harmon. They were able to overcome her infidelity. John and Kathy were at point in their marriage where they needed to decide if love was enough for the two of them. Love was about all they had at this point. They were in serious financial trouble. The campaign had drained them of the majority of their assets. While at the lake, John and Kathy in their own way did their individual soul searching and evaluating of their lives.
John gets the will power to put his life together and Kathy discovers missing one morning. John searches for her and finds the boat missing. The Raussman’s, the neighbors, tell John not to worry. John finds the flowerpots broken. Where they just an accident? She left without a trace. A major search is underway. Vinnie and Lux, the authorities, question John. He is quite disturbed by their questions and becomes quite rattled. John call’s Kathy’s sister, Pat. She does not seem to trust John that he did not have anything to do with her disappearance. John continues to search but he is beginning to feel guilty for her absence. He refuses to believe or consider that she is dead. The search has manifested to a massive search. They find no boat, no body, and no evidence of what happened to Kathy. One is left to speculate.
John’s screams of “Kill Jesus” hints at his frustration in his spiritual life. He has a strong need to be in control. He refuses to believe that there is a higher power that justifies his life. John has serious unresolved feelings and issues about his father. John has never gotten over the loss of his father. His desire to kill seems to stem this. John is at times obsessed with the thoughts and ideas of killing. Did Kathy have a lover? It is possible and logical. Kathy wanted her “Dream Time”. Deep down, Kathy wanted out of the life she had chosen. I think the following phrase from the novel summarizes Kathy’s feelings: “She could not help believing in some fundamental governing principle beneath things.” John Wade was a magician. He tried to change things but they never seemed to happen. People who knew John did not know what to think. I can relate to John. Not too many people really know me. I give them such mystery. Politics and magic go hand in hand. The geranium incident that happened is extremely significant. The water boiling signifies his life to this point. Pouring it over the geranium was away of washing away his life to this point. Rebirth, for he woke and Kathy was not there. Kathy in some ways feared John especially after this incident. They had strong passion after many years of marriage are a good sign. The irony is how John compared his love for Kathy to the war. The phrase “one plus one equals zero” is mentioned throughout the novel. It is significant as a prelude to Kathy’s disappearance and the secrets that are beyond us with the mystery of it all. Often times, Kathy expressed a need for own life. She longed for her private and personal space. I can relate. What you get when you are hindered from having the things you desire in life, is the need to run. Did Kathy drown? Kathy had wanted out of the life she had chosen. Love was not enough for her and sometimes in reality it is not. John and Kathy had so much in life. Was there another man? John was a master at keeping secrets. Many people close to him thought this as well. A good magician never reveals the secret. Did John make her disappear? Some things in life are better left unknown and unsaid. The truth lies deep inside us or not at all. I say we should check Verona!