In the Lake of the Woods


Tim O’Brien

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Lake of the Woods can help.

Lizzie Borden Character Analysis

Infamous “murderess” of the late 19th century who was tried and acquitted of killing her parents with an axe. The debate over whether or not Lizzie Borden was guilty of her crime continues to be a subject of interest for historians and conspiracy theorists, a fact that is itself highly interesting to the narrator.

Lizzie Borden Quotes in In the Lake of the Woods

The In the Lake of the Woods quotes below are all either spoken by Lizzie Borden or refer to Lizzie Borden. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of In the Lake of the Woods published in 1995.
Chapter 25 Quotes

Why do we care about Lizzie Borden, or Judge Carter, or Lee Harvey Oswald, or the Little Big Horn? Because of all that cannot be known. And what if we did know? What if it were proved—absolutely and purely—that Lizzie Borden took an ax? That Oswald acted alone? That Judge Carter fell into Sicilian hands? Nothing more would beckon, nothing would tantalize.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Lizzie Borden, Lee Harvey Oswald
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Lake of the Woods LitChart as a printable PDF.
In the Lake of the Woods PDF

Lizzie Borden Character Timeline in In the Lake of the Woods

The timeline below shows where the character Lizzie Borden appears in In the Lake of the Woods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 25: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon Eleanor’s final comment, the narrator asks, rhetorically, why anybody should care about murderers like Lizzie Borden or Lee Harvey Oswald. Perhaps, he suggests, mysteries are themselves more fascinating than any solution... (full context)