Memory Keepers Daughter Literary Analysis

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In the book “The Memory Keeper's Daughter” by Kim Edwards a doctor and his wife have twins and the first child is a healthy boy but then the second child that comes out is a little girl with the signs of down syndrome and he asks his Nurse to take the baby away to an institution while he tells his wife the baby girl died. Through out the entire book it is a struggle for Dr. Henry's wife Norah to have closure with the fact that her baby girl is said to be dead and she never saw her, held her, or cared for her. Kim Edwards shows through the whole book that we are only human, the themes that life is beyond our control and through the connection between suffering and joy. Edwards uses plot to set up a sort of life schedule. It goes in order into the future but occasionally skips years ahead. She also cleverly sets the book up so that each year, or “chapter” has both sides of the story, that of Caroline who is raising Phoebe and then the life of Norah and David raising their son Paul. As the book starts off it is that of a happy tone with Norah giving birth and then leading to a depressing and melancholy tone as Dr. Henry lies to his wife telling her that their daughter has died, to save her from the pain of their daughter having down syndrome. Norah gains more and more depression as the years go on, always wondering “what if”. With all the depression going on in the story line of Norah there is a gain of strength in Caroline's story line as she raises Phoebe. This shows the theme of suffering and joy. The idea that even though the character is suffering they are the one with the most joy. Norah Henry has it all: the doctor husband, money and a healthy son but still wants what she never had; her daughter. Caroline has struggled with at first the decision to keep Phoebe and raise her as her own, then struggling with actually raising this baby girl with down syndrome alone and with no one, but she is joyful in the book never having the depression that plagues Norah and...
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