In the Lake of the Woods, written by Tim O’Brien is a book which deals with the struggle of John Wade to manage after a recently failed campaign for the United States Senate. After moving to Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, John discovers that his wife Kathy is missing. Through flashbacks of John’s childhood, Vietnam experiences, political career and the history of his relationship with Kathy the reader is introduced to various hypotheses of Kathy’s disappearance. The basis of In the Lake of the Woods is the burden of secrecy and the effects of truth; Mysteries are plentiful, including John’s obsession with magic as a young boy, the hiding of the Mai Lai massacre, the deceit of politics, and the central mystery of Kathy’s disappearance
This book dealt with the love and the struggles of the relationship between John and Kathy Wade. John first met Kathy in college and they became intimate despite the numerous secrets they kept. John grew suspicious of Kathy right away and spied on her, and Kathy was aware that John was spying on her. When John was deployed to Vietnam, he was worried that Kathy was seeing other guys. In one of the letters Kathy wrote, “I’ve been going out with a couple of guys. It’s nothing serious. I love you and I think we can be wonderful together” (O’Brien 104). This shows that John had a right to be suspicious of Kathy, as she was cheating on John, and he probably should have left her then. It also shows that Kathy is not really concerned about John, but is more concerned about her own well-being. John and Kathy also dealt with the fallout of a lost election in which John ran for senator.
One type of evidence used in Lake of The Woods is evidence. In the Lake of the Woods present conflict occurs in 1986, in northern Minnesota. In In the Lake of The Woods, John and Kathy intentionally choose this setting for its isolation from the outside world, which is desirable to them in their quest to forget the stress of the failed election. Throughout John’s political campaign, John and Kathy let their relationship take a back seat to the issues in which John had to deal with. That is why they decided to move to Lake of the Woods, where they begin to realize that their relationship is not going well.
One of the main themes in the book was the theme of magic and mirrors. Throughout John’s childhood, he practiced magic tricks in front of the mirror, creating illusions. He had perfected his magic expertise as a young boy, and used it to build means of denial about his own identity as the son of an alcoholic father who killed himself. The narrator is quoted as saying, “The secrets would remain secret-the things he’d seen, the things he’d done. He’d go from year to year without letting on that there were tricks “(O’Brien 46). This illustrates how John used magic to pretend that certain things did not happen, such as the affairs that Kathy had, and Kathy’s disappearance. John used magic to pretend that he and Kathy were...