According to Penn State Childrens Hospital, over the long run, abused children are more likely to use drugs, become sexually promiscuous, have low self esteem, exhibit extremely passive or aggressive behavior, have difficulty with interpersonal relationships, perform poorly in school, have frequent nightmares, and experience depression that can lead to attempted suicide. These may explain how John became a not-so normal adult, who now believes that he is in fact, the sorcerer.
In one long-term study, as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at age 21 (Child Welfare Information Gateway). Kathys disappearance provides us a venue to think of what John could have done. OBrien, the author of In the Lake of the Woods, lets us readers decide. In a human rights point of view, I firmly believe that child abuse has immeasurable effects as proven by the statements above. A physically abused child may become as violent as his oppressor or even more.
With this, I can say that Johns psychological health was affected and this is why Kathy, his wife disappeared. It can be that John, spilled hot water over Kathy when he said he poured the boiling water on the plants. It only manifests that John has violent tendencies. Johns psychological health may have also been deterred by his participation in the Vietnam massacre. He is guilty of his In the Lake of the Woods page 2 participation and is trying to erase the thought by moving to another place. And his plan did not work.
We can say that John may have murdered his wife and plans to kill himself afterwards. Johns human right was violated as a child and come his adult life, he has done the same. Keeping human rights in mind, this is what I think happened in the story. This is not exclusive to the book but is also prevalent in todays society. Wars are waged because someones human rights were stepped on, fathers hit their spouses because they were also abused by their fathers. It only says that human rights violation is a disease.
It is a social cancer that leads to death and violence. The book tells us how human rights play a role and that it is not just a set of rules but a law that protects our lives and our future.
Bibliography Long-term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway. 9 December 2006.