An Analysis Of The Subconscious Mind In Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine
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Acclaimed psychologist Sigmund Freud created psychoanalysis as a means to analyze the subconscious mind, to make the unconscious conscious. One method of examining the depths of a person’s mind is free association, where a therapist reads a list of words and the patient “responds with the first word that comes to mind”, in hopes that pieces of repressed or forgotten memories will resurface (McLeod). Ray Bradbury, in his introduction “Just This Side of Byzantium,” discusses his method of word-association in order to invoke memories of his childhood, using “words as catalysts to open” the barriers of his memories (Bradbury vii-viii). Ray Bradbury’s nostalgic novel Dandelion Wine is a reflection of his childhood memories, including his hometown, family, house, and the Lonely One, infused with his fantastic and science fiction tendencies.
Bradbury’s journey back to his childhood begins with his hometown, Waukegan, Illinois. Waukegan lies about forty miles north of downtown Chicago and “overlooks the slate-green waters of Lake Michigan” (Weller 13). Bradbury immortalizes his “idyllic slice of small-town Americana” in…show more content… “In the summer of 1928,” the same year in which Dandelion Wine takes place, a mysterious cat burglar, nicknamed “The Lonely One,” lurked in Bradbury’s hometown, Waukegan, taunting the police and terrorizing the town (Weller 42; Bradbury xii). Bradbury uses the terror he felt as a child and redirects it into his homicidal version of The Lonely One. Bradbury’s Lonely One is a woman-strangling serial killer who strikes at night and instills fear in the whole town (Bradbury 159). The two Lonely Ones exhibit similarities in their mysterious identities, crime sprees, and traumatizing of their towns. The Lonely One of the novel is a blatant reflection of the Lonely One Bradbury knew as a child. Bradbury incorporates the Lonely One in order to replicate his childhood