June 28, 2015
Field Report #2
Wood Lake Nature Center & Shadow Falls
Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre (0.24 square miles) natural lake preserve featuring freshwater cattail marsh and floodplain forest habitats. The lake is dominated by cattail, the most photosynthetically active species in the Midwest. During the 1950s, Wood Lake offered some of the best fishing in the area, but its water table was drained about 10 feet to make way for the nearby highway. Richfield, Minnesota founded the Nature Center in 1971.
Cattail (Typha latifolia) is often found natively growing in marshes in five out of the seven continents (it is an invasive species in Australia and Hawaii). If growing in clean water (as it absorbs pollutants), it is edible and has been used by native North American cultures for food and medicine. Another species found in the marsh is the wood duck (Aix sponsa). Male wood ducks have a green head with a distinctive purple stripe behind their red eyes, while the females are a duller brown with white eye-rings and a blue patch on their wings. Wood ducks nearly went extinct about 100 years ago due to overhunting. The nest of a red-wing blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) family may also be found in the marsh along the shore. This blackbird is one of the most abundant birds in Minnesota. The males are a jet black with red and yellow patches on their upper wings while the females are streaked brown with white eyebrows. Another bird, the Baltimore oriole
(Icterus galbula) may be spotted in the tallest trees of the wetlands and floodplain forest. Actually, they will probably be heard before they are seen, as they are known for their singing. The males have a black head and neck with a family orange underside while the females are mostly paler orange-yellow with just gray-brown wings. In floodplain forest, if looking closer to ground level (as they eat insects, worms, fruits, and berries), an American robin (Turdus...
...The Narrator of the novel is limited by all that he does not and cannot know! Can we, then, describe him as ‘reliable?’
“In the lake of the woods” by Tim O’Brien is a fictional recollection of events according to a fictional character created by the author – the narrator. As the narrator is portrayed as a “historian” who spent four years researching John Wade, we should be aware that all that is written may not necessarily be true as the narrator is human. Innately he is restricted in his capabilities to be omnipresent and thus omniscient. The story is recreated by the narrator himself, therefore making it an interpretation of his viewpoints and perception of everything. This is acknowledged by the narrator himself as he admits that all he is ever left with is “supposition and possibility” and that even after four years of hard work, the story should be viewed as nothing more than an “imaginative reconstruction of events”. All the narrator is doing is depicting the story of John Wade in the way he sees fit to do so taking into account all his acuity and pre-conceived notions. This is why everything in the book must not be viewed as the truth for “evidence is not truth. It is only evident”. Hence the narrator can admit to being constrained when it comes to knowing everything as he will always be constrained by his perception in things that he does know and his imagination of things he cannot possibly know. For this reason he cannot be viewed...
...In his novel In the Lake of the Woods Tim O’Brien paints a vivid image of the horrors of the Vietnam War, particular the savagery of the Thuan Yen massacre. While prior to reading the novel readers instinctively blame the soldiers themselves for their immoral actions, as the novel progresses, O’Brien shows that while the soldiers may have physically committed the brutal acts of murder, blame cannot solely be placed on them. O’Brien depicts the Vietnam landscape as one that, due its elusive and chaotic nature, was partially responsible for the horrors that the men committed. Furthermore, the very nature of man and our innate capacity for evil suggests that while the soldiers themselves committed the physical acts of terror, our capability to commit such atrocities when placed within the scenario of war means that any individual would have been taken over by the insanity of the conflict. Ultimately, O’Brien demonstrates that while the horrors of My Lai are unforgivable, there are extenuating circumstances which suggest that blame cannot solely be placed on the soldiers who themselves were at times victims to the nature of war.
While O’Brien depicts the nature of war as chaotic, he never denies the individual responsibly that each soldiers had for the evils they committed while at war. Sorcerer comments that “this was not madness, this was sin.” By differentiating between “sin” and...
...“In the Lake of the Woods” is a non-linear novel by Tim O’ Brien that consists of the themes trauma and insecurity. The protagonist of the text, John Wade is driven into insanity due to his fear of losing the love of his life, Kathy. Throughout the novel, john Wade’s secrets are exposed to the world, this being the reason that ended his career as a politician, which was the final push towards his madness. Wade was not only affected by his shattering moment in his career, but his childhood and experiences of war in Vietnam left him traumatized and feeling unworthy of love. John begins to crave love at an early stage I his life, after he meets Kathy he develops an obsession for her and becomes dependent on her love. He faces many issues with Kathy, trust being the main one; this could potentially be the reason for John’s breakdown of sanity. Although Kathy played a large role in his life and downfall, there was a whole other range of factors that took part in his fall to insanity.
John Wade started off his career with a goal in mind, to become something important in the political world. As he progressed through his career, he became aware of the fact that his past could ruin what he was currently building. Wade, as a child learnt to deal with his problems by bottling them up and pretending nothing had happened “this could not have happened. Therefore it did not” John believes that if he lies to himself, and continuously blocks out...
...prior experiences with Tony and her innermost feelings at that particular moment in time. It adds to our understanding of John and Kathy’s relationship, and the depth of Tony’s character and attitude.
Hypothesis Chapter 6:
By illustrating Kathy’s personal conflicts, O’Brien explores her potential suicide. This chapter focuses on Kathy’s feelings during and after her affair, demonstrating her values and “withheld intimacies”. Within her “decayed marriage” “the idea of happiness” is Kathy’s ultimate desire, as her suicide is expressed to be “a dark calm” from “the waning of energy”.
Hypothesis Chapter 7:
In chapter 27 it is hypothesised that John burnt Kathy with boiling water and then took her out on the boat on the lake and dumped her body in the lake. John then decides to “Join her for a while” as he feels “an underwater rush in his ears.” He wakes up in bed and reaches “out for Kathy” but she “wasn’t there.”
Hypothesis Chapter 8:
In this chapter, it questions all the hypothesis and states that no one “will ever know.” When john is mentioned, he switches out from John to Sorcerer and then back again. John does not know his true identity and he never did.
O’Brien illustrates the inauthentic relationship of John and Kathy through his need for “absolute, unconditional love”. Their lack of communication led to the couple’s mistrust towards each other because “they never communicated, never made love”. This was...
...The Impact and Cruelties of War
The common phrase, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes”, tells the world to never put a label on an individual before you have truly experienced what they have gone through. Tim O Brien's work, In the Lake of the Woods, shows how men who have all experienced war, truly have walked in each other’s shoes. These traumatizing experiences impact the human spirit dramatically because once back from the war, veterans struggle to live normal lives. Only men and women who have experienced this brutality can begin to understand why veterans from every war are left traumatized and haunted by the terrifying scene called war. O’Brien’s novel shows the journey of a narrator trying to heal from his own war experience by living vicariously through John Wade. Through his reconstruction of John Wade’s life, the narrator is able to come to terms with his identity. He realizes that his own experiences have affected him tremendously, and through his research he can slowly begin to heal.
War goes against what normal society thinks is morally acceptable, such as killing, injuring and shooting other human beings. Veterans also have trouble relearning to understand their emotions and open up to others. Both the narrator and John saw firsthand, the horror and death of war through all of the brutal killings. Not only that, but they were participants in this killing as well. Living through an incredibly difficult...
...In the novel In the Lake of the Woods, O’Brien channels between his life in the present at the lake with his wife, and his life in the past, recalling memories from the war in Vietnam. The novel begins with a preview into the love life and marriage of John and Kathy Wade. While the novel progresses, their relationship begins to deteriorate and as the narrator jumps from his past to his present, the impact of his time in Vietnam becomes more apparent as a primary factor in the failure of their marriage. Throughout the book there are sections of hypotheses and evidence that observe a mixture of fiction and non fiction documents. Some are simply historical facts about the condition of soldiers after Vietnam, particularly the My Lai massacre, while others are fabricated interviews and statements from the characters in the story examining the strange behavior of John Wade himself. The way the chapters are arranged in a scattered format attest to how the jaded past of John Wade sporadically emerged into his life with his wife, the election, and his sanity.
Like many stories, the novel is not presented in chronological order. Even as the narrator jumps from past to present to evidence to hypotheses, the sections are not always continuous individually. O’Brien utilizes this method because the story was not written to develop the life of John Wade, but rather to examine it as it relates to the past that he tried to conceal from the...
...The American Heritage Dictionary defines denial as; an unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings. All three of the main phrases of this definition of denial are constantly seen throughout the novel In the Lake of the Woods. "Painful realities, thoughts, or feelings", "refusal to acknowledge", and "defense mechanism" all pertain directly to the main character of the novel, as well as the way the book is written. For this reason, I feel that this definition of denial and the word denial itself perfectly illustrate the theme of Tim O'Brien's novel, "In the Lake of the Woods".
The main action takes place near the town of Angle Inlet on the shores of The Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. John Wade and his wife Kathy move to a cabin on the lake shortly after he is handed a landslide loss in a senatorial primary race. In the race, the main character, John Wade, was revealed to have participated in a massacre at the village of My Lai during the Vietnam War. It was also revealed that Wade later altered his military documents to show that he was never involved in the incident; this is the reason behind the landslide loss. After a week at the remote cabin, Wade's wife, Kathy, and the only boat at the cabin mysteriously disappear. Despite a massive search, no trace of Kathy or the boat is never found. More than a...
...Greasy Lake is the story of three friends who are potray themselves to be bad characters.
Until they run into a situation where they question, just how bad they are.
It can easily be identify as the changing from boys to men, in the beginning of the
story the narrator and his friends were compared to nature, which can relate to the
many ironic events that happen to the narrator.
Some of The circumstances that the narrator in "GreasyLake" finds himself in, are the same
that many young people find themselves in when fighting war. One of the
many things that took place was when the narrator sees himself as a tough guy or
"bad character". He believes he is invincible, There is nobody as cool as he is, or as
dangerous as him and his friends are.
At the middle of the story the narrator and his friends got a harsh dose of reality as The
mood of nature change when he ran into a tough guys which made him realized
that he wasn't really tough at all, Making him run into the lake like a little bitch.
At this point the narrator is not bothered about his mom’s car because he is now safe in the lake behind trees where no one
could find him. Once the narrator continues to swim to a safe place in the lake he
runs into something that plunges like a rubber duck, The rubber duck is a dead
The irony comes...