Free Online Study Guide for Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury|
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Charlie tells Douglas and Tom that he's upset the Lonely One has been killed by Lavinia Nebbs. Tom thinks that the man Lavinia Stabbed with her sewing scissors last night wasn't the Lonely One, as he didn't look like the Lonely Man, a legend who escaped capture for ten years. Instead, the body they saw being carried to an ambulance this morning looked like a man - a normal man. Therefore, he couldn't have been the Lonely One. Douglas remains stunned, however as he was in the ravine last night, and seen Elizabeth Ramsell, and the lemonade glass Lavinia Nebbs had left on her porch.
Douglas and his brother again prove themselves as a Greek chorus, not only changing our understanding of the previous story - which left the reader (by mood and theme) to assume that Lavinia was murdered, not the murderer - but also wish the Lonely One back to life, if only in their imagination. In their wish for adventure and intrigue in their young lives, the boys want something quite dangerous to continue, in some ways unaware of the consequences. Douglas, however, is very much aware: he repeats that he was at the ravine during these events, and his closeness to actual death gives him pause.
She had long been a vital force of the household, but now Great-grandma has taken ill. Lying in bed, she prepares to die: she explains to Tom how her time has come, that she's leaving with no regrets. When Douglas asks her who will do the shingles next April, she instructs him to choose a person who thinks the task is fun. Douglas begins to cry because Great-Grandma won't be around anymore, but she assures him that she'll always be around in those who have come after her, that any person who has a family never really dies. She gives instructions on how people should behave after her death and expresses interest in the final experience she faces. She hears her loved ones doing chores around the house, considers it correct, then dies.
The notion of continuity past death - of a kind of everyday immortality - takes on yet another form with Great-Grandma, who sees her self continuing in the actions of those she leaves behind. This is yet another death for Douglas to face.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on Dandelion Wine".
. 11 May 2008