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John Wade A Character Study John Wade is by far the most intricate and perplexing character examined throughout the novel In The Lake Of the Woods His character hinges on the brink of order and chaos on one hand he is defined as a man who is obsessed with controlling the events and people around him It is this obsession with control and order that lies alongside the central idea of the novel that John Wade does not really know what happened to his wife His blackouts and tendency towards spurts of violence highlight the chaos that lies beneath the surface of his life The image of the mirrors demonstrate this aspects of Johns life the mirrors represent both his attempt to control his world as well as a sanctuary from the reality of his helplessness The source of Johns Wades complexity can be traced to his childhood As a child John tries desperately to win his fathers affection Unfortunately as is evident Johns alcoholic father seems to prefer a different sort of child more simple and typically American Subsequently John -through his uniqueness- fails to satisfy his father Johns father teases and ridicules him throughout his childhood Johns mother sees this as the beginning of his need to escape from reality the need to take on a different persona John had all kinds of different names I remember his father used to call him Little Merlin or Little Houdini and that Jiggling John one Maybe he got used to it Maybe he felt- maybe it sort of helped to call himself Sorcerer I hope so p268 Ultimately Johns feelings of helplessness lead to a hunger for control As a youngster John is presented to the reader as a would-be magician who tries desperately to achieve the greatest trick of all - gaining his fathers love At the same time the magic helps John to take control of his life
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