Free Online Study Guide for Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury|
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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.
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.
In the basement, Grandfather Spaulding and Douglas counting the bottles from their second harvest of dandelion wine. As the bottles are counted, Douglas remembers the date of each bottle and what happened on that day. Douglas is in a mournful mood, and considering all the things and people lost this summer. Not pleased with his grandson's attitude, Grandpa makes Douglas take a sip of dandelion wine and makes him run around.
This quiet interlude is the reminder of the process of saving a bit of summer. The metafictive element is emphasized as each bottle refers to an incident recounted in the book. With the growing awareness of mortality, however, Douglas needs a reminder of vitality and life, as seen by his quick hit of dandelion wine.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on Dandelion Wine".
. 11 May 2008