Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Coming of Age

By Ray Bradbury

Coming of Age

In a lot of ways, Dandelion Wine is vindication for any kid who ever thought their parents (or grandparents, or anyone more than half a decade older) didn't understand them. Doug goes so far as to say that kids and adults are entirely different races, and if you look at this idea in terms of the time travel thing, it kind of makes sense. Our life experiences shape us—we are where we come from, where we've been, what we've seen. And by the time we're adults, we have something children don't: The ability to go "far-traveling" through the decades whenever we want.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. Is Doug still a kid at the end of the book? Is he an adult? Some sort of mixture? Use the text to support your argument.
  2. Why does Doug "get sadder younger" than Tom? Is it biology, intelligence, life experience, or something else? 
  3. How might Mr. Jonas's "turning sad awfully young" have led to his desire to give new homes to people's old stuff? 
  4. Do adults see themselves as practically of a different species from kids in this book? How can you tell?

Chew on This

Mr. Jonas cures Doug by tapping into the power of imagination that is so vivid in children, in effect enabling Doug to be cured by his own youth.

Giving away her childhood mementos is a crucial step in Mrs. Bentley's acceptance of her present age.

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