The passing of the torch in the novel "Deliverance", by James Dickey

Essay by Mortimer106A+, February 1997

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In the novel Deliverance, by James Dickey, the themes of man and his mind set are pondered upon many times. The theme 'the passing of the torch' seemed to stand out in my mind more and more as the novel concluded. Throughout the novel, three of the characters seemed to rely on the fourth character quite a bit, the hero of the day. Though, towards the end of the novel, their hero of the day had fallen out of the 'game,' as Lewis called it, when they needed him most. This situation proposed the scene for which the passing of the torch from the fallen hero to the newly risen, soon-to be-hero, took place.

Before the four men left on their camping trip, Ed said 'I liked Lewis; I could feel myself getting caught up again in his capricious and tenacious enthusiasms that had already taken me bow-hunting and varmint-calling with him, and down into a small, miserably cold cave where there was one dead, crystalline frog.

Lewis was the only man I knew who could do with his life exactly what he wanted to.' This thought of Ed's goes to show how much he followed and depended on Lewis. Through this thought, it seems as though the majority of the reason Ed ever did any camping or outdoor activities was because he had Lewis to back him up. It also seemed that Ed was somewhat jealous of Lewis. Ed was jealous because of Lewis' ability to do whatever he wanted, his willingness and ability to deal with the outdoors, and Lewis' body build. Drew and Bobby also seemed to rely on Lewis quite a bit, but not even as close to as much Ed did. They were able to say 'no' at first when the idea of the...