Dandelion Wine Essay, Research Paper
Report: The summer of 1928 was a summer of many happenings. It was the summer that a child of only 12 learned the
thoughts and worries of being a young adult. Douglas Spaulding never knew what he would experience once the summer
began. Douglas learns that not only is he growing up but that he now has to adjust his thinking as well as his actions. The
adjustment from childhood to young adulthood can be a confusing time but the change can really open the eyes of a person
when they stop to look at their surroundings. This theme can be shown in three instances where Douglas had to adjust to
his newly found young adulthood.
Douglas had to deal with his best friend, John Huff, moving away. Douglas had never experienced losing a friend, so the only
way Douglas knew to deal with this problem was to make John his enemy. With what little time John had before he left,
Douglas tried to make it last longer by setting his watch back a couple hours. Douglas knew deep in his heart that nothing
within his power could make him stay, but he tried everything he could think of. He even told John not to run around,
because it made the time go faster. Along with this loss, Douglas also had to deal with deaths.
Douglas had to cope with his grandmother’s death. This was very hard for Douglas, not only had he lost his best friend, his
grandma was dying. He knew that he might be able to see John once in a while, but after that dreary day, he would never
see his grandma again.
“‘Grandma, who’ll shingle the roof next spring?’
Every April for as far back as there were calendars, you thought you heard woodpeckers tapping the housetop. But no, it
was Great-grandma somehow transported, singing, pounding nails, replacing shingles, high in the sky! ‘Douglas,’ she
whispered, ‘don’t ever let anyone do the shingles unlessit’s fun for them.’”
Douglas’ memories of his grandma will always be in his mind. After grandma told Douglas this, he had started to cry, not
knowing of any way else to express himself. To comfort him, grandma told him that things get old, and that new things come
to replace them. She told him she really wasn’t dying, that her body was just going away, and that her soul and spirit would
be around for thousands of years. Another time when Douglas had to face the loss of someone dear was when the Colonel
died. The boys had called him the Time Machine, since you could ask him to tell you about a time, and he would remember
details like he was a newspaper. Colonel Freeleigh was very sick, and the boys had stopped by to visit. When they had gotten
to his room, they already knew what had happened. Douglas felt the blow of death, as did all the other boys.
Another thing Douglas encountered in the summer of 1928 was Dandelion Wine. The dandelion wine that they used to
make held a special memory for Douglas. He would look at the bottles and remember each day of the summer that had
already passed. He would remember specific days, and wonder why sad days didn’t have a darker color wine than the happy
days. He thought, at a time, that the wine captured each of those memories. With all of the changes that have come about
over that summer, Douglas realized that the wine didn’t remember anything, but he did, in his mind he had stored all of the
information from this summer. He also realized that making the dandelion wine was a memory held deep in his heart, along
with the tradition that came with it.
All of these happenings helped change Douglas from the child he once was, to the young man he became that summer. He
had to deal with many new things at a young age, but all of them helped him adjust to the other happenings. Douglas’
period of change makes him open his eyes wider than they have ever been, and he sees, for the first time, that he is alive.
He later on realizes that everyone must die, and that nothing is in his total control.