Memory Keeper’s Daughter written by Kim Edward, the main character, David Henry, made a decision that has impacted not only his life but the rest of his family also. David was a very confusing character. Henry’s character played an important role because the decision of giving his daughter up changed his whole life and broke his family apart. When his wife went into labor he delivered the twin babies, Paul and Phoebe. When Phoebe entered the world he noticed she has defects in her face and hands that lead him to diagnose her with autism.
He decided to give up his daughter, because he was afraid of what society would think and was afraid that an abnormal child would destroy his current family; just like his sister did during his childhood. Due to the result of giving up his daughter, one very major secret has stood in the middle of their family. Deception, secrets, and regrets have shaped the family and caused major problems throughout their life. Almost everybody has done something that they have regretted later on in life. When Phoebe was first born, David makes a rational decision that he eventually regrets later in his life.
Henry felt that having a child who suffered from Down’s Syndrome would ruin his family, because he witnessed it once with his sister during his childhood. He felt that by giving up his daughter, he was protecting his family. Later throughout life David realizes that he gave up his little girl for no reason at all. “To the other children in this preschool Phoebe was simply herself, a friend who liked the color blue and Popsicles and twirling in circles; here, her differences went unnoticed. ” (Edward, 159) Even though Phoebe had Down’s Syndrome she was capable of doing everything any other girl her age could do too.
Over the past 50 years, the traditional structure of the family has evolved tremendously. The role of each member has changed in many ways. This creates an entirely different chemistry within the family. In the 1950s, the traditional family was composed of a father, mother, and the children that they created within the marriage. The father was usually the disciplinarian and financial provider for ...
In the novel Edwards writes “… anything can happen, anytime. But what goes wrong is not your fault. You can’t spend the rest of your life tiptoeing around to try and avert disaster. It won’t work. You’ll just end up missing the life you have. ”(Edward, 76) This quote fits perfectly with the theme of regret because it describes what will happen if you try to make everything in your life perfect with no flaws; it just won’t happen and you will regrets some things you did and didn’t do. Another major theme in the book was deception. The whole novel is solely based around one major lie that affects the whole Henry family.
When Phoebe is born and David realizes that she has autism, he gives Phoebe to Caroline the nurse, and then David tells Norah that she had twins but the little girl died at birth. Once David told that lie, there was no going back. He lived his whole live lying to his family, regretting his mistake, and being trapped in his own secret. “Either things grow and change or they die. ”(Edward, 376) That quote relates to David’s downfall comes at the end of the book when he finally couldn’t handle keeping that major secret any longer.
David never got the courage to tell Norah what he did when Phoebe was born. He never grew the courage or changed his lying ways. He has an aneurysm and ends up dying from holding everything in for such a long period of time. The last part of the theme were all the secrets. Secrets are powerful things that could break a relationship. In the novel there are many secrets, small and big, that affect the storyline. Obviously, the biggest one is David’s secret about giving away Phoebe but there are also other ones that occur throughout the story.
David and Phoebe are having affairs with other people which is another secret that affects the whole storyline of the novel. “Together, without speaking, they walked to the little cottage. She left her clothes on the sand; she did not care about that either, that anyone might see them. ” (Edward, 186).
The novel "Montana 1948" written by Larry Watson held a series of tragic events, which were to have a permanent and decisive impact on David and his parents. This chain of events were to turn David's young life and that of his family upside down forever and which was to angrily lead him out of childhood, destroying his innocence and youthful naivety in the process. However, David's shocking ...
That quote shows how Norah started having an affair with a guy while on vacation with her family. Paul also keeps secrets from his father because sometimes David doesn’t approve of his choices. Not only do all these secrets cause drama, they also begin to slowly break up the family.
Secrets, deception, and regret begin to wear away the family slowly as the novel progresses. In the end of the novel Norah finally gets to meet her long lost daughter and Paul also gets to meet his twin sister who he has never known. Kim Edwards really displays the heartache of a family who was corrupt from the very beginning. David’s demise leads to joy and happiness in the end for Norah, Phoebe, and Paul. Even though deception, secrets, and regrets were a big part of the Henry’s family, they also had moments of joy, love, and happiness.