Themes of Life and Death in Raymond Bradbury's Dandelion Wine

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In Raymond Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, the theme of how life and death go hand in hand is impacted by Great-Grandmother, Colonel Freeleigh, and Helen Loomis. Great- Grandma gives us a new perspective on eternal life. Colonel Freeleigh shows us the realities of death, and Heather Loomis teaches us about finding new life in death. Life and death going together is shown in many ways, but these three characters are tools that Bradbury uses to amplify his message.

Colonel Freeleigh impacts the theme of how life and death go hand in hand by showing us the realities of death. First off, the Colonel tells us about you can die purely from living. “It doesn’t matter if being so alive kills a man; it’s better to have the quick fever every time” (Bradbury 131). Bradbury’s word choice, saying that being so alive can kill, shows that life and death go together. Next, Doug, talking about the death of the colonel, says, “Yesterday a whole lotta dust settled for good. And I didn’t even appreciate it at the time… I never dreamed so many people could die so fast, Tom. But they did” (Bradbury 136). The tone here shows regret, specifically when Doug says that he didn’t even appreciate what he had at the time. When the colonel died, all the people in his memories and stories died with him, and Doug realizes what was lost, and it causes regret. Colonel Freeleigh’s death really shows you how life and death go together.

Great-Grandmother shows us how people really live forever, despite death. Later in the chapter, Great-Grandma says, "Important thing is not the me that's lying here, but the me that's sitting on the edge of the bed looking back at me, and the me that's downstairs cooking supper, or out in the garage under the car, or in the library reading. All the new parts, they count. I'm not really dying today. No person ever died that had a family” (Bradbury 183). The imagery here, especially the part where she describes everything she does, like cooking supper, show us how alive...
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