A literature circle Presentation by Charlie Dickens Annie Randy Billy Shakespeare Homer Simpson
An interesting story of two parallel lives and the importance of honesty and family. –Billy Shakespeare Dr. Henry is haunted by memories of an unwell sister and a poor childhood. When his wife gives birth to twins, he quickly determines that he will spare her the grief of raising a child with down syndrome and gives his child away. This decision gnaws away at him every day, as he continues to lie to his family, hide behind his work and hobbies, and see his dreams ripped apart. –Charlie Dickens A fictional, but chillingly realistic account of how secrets break families apart over time. –Homer Simpson A poignant tale of love, loss, and familial secrets, The Memory Keepers Daughter tells the story of how one rash decision forever changes the lives of Dr. David Henry and his family. –Annie Rand
It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers (Edwards 9). This quote signifies the last time that Dr. Henry feels at peace with himself and his life. It foreshadows the fact that he is a man with skeletons in his closet and one who is not nearly as squeaky clean as the author would have us believe.
He had wanted to spare her, to protect her from loss and pain; he had not understood that loss would follow her regardless, as persistent and life- shaping as a stream of water. Nor had he anticipated his own grief, woven with dark threads of his past. When he imagined the daughter hed given away, it was his sisters face he saw, her pale hair, her serious smile (Edwards 109). Epiphany Visual Imagery Simile Flashback This passage was chosen because of its rich figurative language and ability to evoke strong emotion in the reader. All David wants is a happy family, yet he realizes that this is impossible because of all of his lies and secrets.
This chapter is significant because it marks many changes for the protagonist, Dr. David Henry. David has been given a second chance at fatherhood via his relationship with a young girl named Rosemary and her son Jack. He cherishes these two and with them, makes up for every mistake he made with his own son and daughter. Things seem to be going well for Dr. Henry until Rosemary informs him that she has been offered a job and must move far away. David sees his last chance at redemption slip away as quickly as it arrived. Readers get a glimpse of impending trouble when we are given flashbacks of important moments in Davids life. It seems as though he is trying to tie up all loose ends and take care of all of the little things he has avoided for so long. He tries to confess his secrets in a note to his wife, but still cannot. This chapter is a perfect example of why people should not procrastinate. We must live each day as if it is our last and deal head-on with the consequences of our actions. Section: 1988, Chapter I
Section: 1989 July 1, 1989 The Truth Will Set You Free My daughter died…that was the problem. Phoebe did not die…Ive raised her all these years.
disparate shards billow eddies swaddled whorled Chapter 1 Words for Class List
disparate (adj.) – The puzzle pieces were so disparate that I could not figure out which ones went together. swaddled (v.) – The new mother swaddled her baby in a plush blanket to keep him warm. whorl (v.) – The Tasmanian Devil whorls around like a top. eddies (n. or v.) – The children circled around the edge of the pool, hoping to create an eddy. billow (n. or v.) – The waves billowed, signifying that a storm was coming. shards (n.) – The shards of glass were scattered all around the room after a baseball crashed through the window.
One of the emerging themes in The Memory Keepers Daughter is deception. Dr. Henry deceives his wife into believing that their baby daughter died at birth, when in actuality, he gave her away. He even goes so far as to participate (though reluctantly) in a burial service for his daughter. Another strong theme is the importance of honesty. Had Dr. Henry been honest from the beginning, his loved ones may have been able to help him deal with his unresolved past. He also may have had a shot at happiness…
Dr. Henrys reaction to having a daughter with down syndrome reminds me of how some of the kids at school treat people who are different then them. Dr. Henry quickly discarded his daughter under the guise that he was concerned about his wife having to deal with a sick child who would most likely die of heart disease, but in reality, he was merely concerned with himself and how this would affect HIS life. In school, I see many people getting bullied because they are overweight, unattractive, or different in any way. Some people do not even bother taking the time to get to know these people – they just treat them like dirt because they are uninformed or scared. I think if people took more time to learn about who people are on the inside, the world would be a better place.
We give The Memory Keepers Daughter two enthusiastic thumbs up This is a must read for anyone who has ever kept a secret, told a lie, felt regret, or dreamed of a better life.