Wolf in White Van Essay Up





“Sean attempts to make his life fit into the framework of a game, a set of discrete narrative choices imbued with meaning by the game master and never veering from a controlled path. This choice, which brings Sean even deeper into those fictional worlds he had difficulty separating from reality, is his way of coping with trauma and specifically with the frightening ambiguity of shooting oneself in the face for no discernible reason”


Read the rest here.


A Lone Wolf

Sean uses the game Trace Italian to escape from the real world. Although he becomes separated from reality, in the end, this helps him personally recover from his trauma.

You can read my full argument here.

Wolf In White Van: Driving Idea Behind the Argument

In my analysis of Sean Phillips in John Darnielle’s novel, Wolf In White Van, I point out Sean uses his imagination and his role-playing game, Trace Italian, as a distraction to solve his inner emotional problems, as opposed to solving to them. Many will agree that Sean did not properly handle his situation, while others will disagree in saying that his fantasies were the only way to cope with his depression and isolation. However, beyond this small argument, I believe there is something deeper to consider.

In the middle of the Sean’s telling of his story, he shows signs of trying to really solve his own problems by reflecting upon his thoughts and motives before the accident. Yet, as so much time has passed of denying/coping with his problems, whichever you may argue, Sean can no longer identify with his past self – “that younger man was dead” (71-72). Wolf In White Van demonstrates that one can only deny or cope with their problems for so long the core issues of our lives catch up to us and remind us of our pain. These issues must be dealt with, head on, with courage and humility or else they will consume us and take our lives away from us. In the end, Sean Philips took his own life.

You can read my full length argument of Wolf In White Van here.

Featured Image Credit:

  • The photo belongs to username BMclvr, of Flickr, which can be found here.
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