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Dandelion Wine – Chapters Twenty-one and Twenty-two

Douglas’ best friend John Huff is introduced and described in this chapter as the ideal boy to be friends with. John, however, tells Douglas that his family will be moving tomorrow. In response to Douglas’ protests, John comments on how he has suddenly realized that he’s taken so many things for granted in his neighborhood that he can’t remember most of them, including his parents’ faces, and on how he’s afraid that Douglas will similarly forget him. Douglas assures him that he has a perfect memory of his face, but ruins his claim when he can’t remember that John’s eyes are green.

Douglas attempts to enjoy his last day with John, but keeps on being reminded of the diminishing amount of time before John’s departure. He tries a last-ditch effort to keep John from leaving by “freezing” him for three hours when the children play statues. John refuses to play along and instead begins another round of Statues, in which he “freezes” Douglas instead just before he leaves for good. After he realizes that John is gone for good, Douglas, thinking of how statues stay still compared to humans who can’t be controlled, yells out into the distance that he hates John.

Another expository chapter, this one the shortest yet at only one page, has Douglas asking Tom to promise that he will stay with him. He also says that he’s concerned about how God runs the world, to which Tom replies simply, “He tries,” most likely an accepting remark that life isn’t perfect.


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