Dandelion Wine
Ray Bradbury
Contributed by Loretta Ingwersen
Chapter 25
Summary

Douglas and Tom are playing on the Civil War cannon in the courthouse square, when Douglas suddenly realizes all those who died when Colonel Freeleigh passed: Ching Ling Soo, Abraham Lincoln, a herd of bison, and so many others. Tom tells his brother to go home and write it all down in his tablet, and Douglas agrees with this. Tom continues to play at the cannon.

Analysis

This chapter expands on a simple metaphor: that the people we remember are, in a sense, kept alive by our memories. The idea of a person being the sum of his experiences and encounters is given weight in this observation, but in remembering the Colonel and his stories, Douglas and Tom do keep the people alive. For them, at least, Ching Ling Soo and the others will live on, including the Colonel himself. Tom is still too young to be fully aware of mortality, and so his cannon games - where he pretends to kill his brother - are innocent of the meanings Douglas now invests in death.

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