The Winter Room

by Gary Paulsen

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What is an important scene in The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen?  

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One important scene involves Uncle David's effort to return to his lost youth and prove the other men wrong. The old man tells many tall tales in the long winter months, and the boys listen to them. The stories are so far-fetched that they cannot be true, but David sets out to prove the veracity of one: chopping a single log simultaneously with two axes that meet in the middle.

Although the old man sets out to do this in private, to prove it to himself, the boys are watching from inside. They are astonished to see him achieve this feat, and they immediately grasp its meaning: "He's young again," Wayne whispers, and both boys start to cry. Just as quickly, once his feat is accomplished, David fades into old age again.

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The book is divided into 3 parts that carefully develop specific moods rather than one continuous plot. Within each section, there are subsections. The middle section is divided into the four seasons.

While each section of the book carefully articulates a variety of moods and themes of the story, the last chapter of the book is where the climax of the story unfolds.  There is a silent schism between the nephews and the uncle. There is a huge confrontation and then the moment of truth where the boys finally understand the secret about adulthood. The uncle also experiences a change and for a moment... reverses the onward marching of time.



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