The Memory Keeper’s Daughter: Literature Analysis By:Nyanna Pepper The book I decided to read was The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. I chosed this book because it demonstrated real life situations, teaching us lessons that 9th graders can use in their later future while creating fascinating storyline to keep the story entertaining. This story is about a couple who had a twins but one came with down syndrome. So the husband who is also delivering the babies decided to send the baby away before the gas on his wife wore off.
He had the nurse take the baby girl to a institution, but instead she kept the baby left the city and raised the child as her own. In my opinion i would highly recommend this book for 9th graders to read, it has a good detail meaning displaying many realistic life lessons we might all experience. In the book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards the setting is a major factor in understanding this story The author used the setting of a small town in Lexington, Kentucky to create a part of the setting, where everyone in the town knew everybody this also a major part why Caroline had to leave town with Phoebe.
For this reason, this is why Caroline story is mainly told in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most of the action occurred in both of David’s houses: the house the couple first bought when they were first married and the second house they bought to get rid of their memories of their so-called dead child. Both of the houses are symbolic to the couple. Where the old house holds their fantasies of creating a new family. Then in the second house where they to attempt to recreate their old dreams and memories. Throughout majority of the story Henry owns both of the houses finding it difficult to let go.
The house stays there vacant just like Norah and David’s marriage. In the other setting is where Caroline resides at she first shares a home with her friend Doro for all the story. Except in the beginning where she used to in her cozy apartment in Lexington by the supermarket. The author used these settings to create a southern feel to help us readers try to imagine what is happening in the story. The setting change and the overall setting relates to the moral of the story. There are many main characters in this book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter portraying important roles throughout the story.
The main four characters are Caroline, David, Norah, Paul and Phoebe. David has a major influence in the story and holds a deep secret away from his wife that causes conflict among his marriage. He was an orthopedic doctor but had to deliver his own children. When Norah was giving birth he delivered both of the twins he gave away the baby girl who had down syndrome. Growing up he had a down syndrome sister that created such heart ache when she passed away. He tried to prevent this pain from his own wife if it did happen.
But instead her “dead” daughter lingered in the mind everyday. Through the book David distances himself from his family creating problems with his wife and his son Paul. David soon dies of a heart attack and blames himself for everything bad that happened to his family. Norah who is the wife has been in depression stage for most of the story line. She wanted to feel the connection of her daughter ever since birth. Norah stayed in a hidden shell and felt neglected from her husband. So she tried to fill the missing love with multiple affairs to make up for David missing love.
The distance between her and David begins to affect their relationship with Paul. Slowly throughout the story Norah finds out that David gave up their child. She then developed a hate feeling towards her husband for leaving her with this burden to deal with it on her own and dying. However she then realizes the reason for her failed marriage, strained relationship with her son and many more things. Another major character is Caroline Gill, who decided to take care of Phoebe instead of giving her away as David told her too.
She lives the life that society expects her to be. Caroline then developed through the story from a shy, pushover women to an opinionated, outspoken women who believes to stand up for what she believes in. Caroline fights for Phoebe health care, and er educational rights. She also lives life trails and uncerta rtainty, she also married a man she met on the road. When David died she realized she wasn’t such a hero icon as she believed herself as to be. Part off it was because she realized taking Phoebe tore Norah deeply apart.
There is many important craft used to create the plot of the story and the use of a set tone within the dialogue. For example, like Caroline said, “photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell. ” This explains that you can’t always know about someone from the way they seem and can’t make assumptions about a person. The author used this quote to display an example of imagery. This quote shows imagery because it shows an imaginative description. Another piece of craft the author used was the use of dashes to feel the feeling of tension oor the doubt of the story.
For example, when David told Norah her daughter was dead she said “but how she was just bo-,” Norah said sobbing. This sentence held a feeling of suspense and sorrow to make the reader feel obligated to read on to see what happens next. The overall tone and mood is created by the point of view it is told from and the use of language. This allows the reader to know what is coming up next and watch the story take place. The reader was concerned about David hiding the secret away about giving away his daughter from his wife.
This created a fearful and suspenseful feeling between David and the readers. All these pieces that the author used helped the reader to feel the need what happens at the end and how Norah finds out her “dead” child, this leaves the reader engaged through the whole book wondering what comes next. There are several conflicts in the book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter both internal and external. The overall internal conflicts were David struggling with keeping in his secret, Norah dealing with her depression and Caroline trying to cope with herself.
David has this guilty conscience on his soul and distances himself away from everyone. This effected his son and father relationship, as well as his marriage. Norah who is in a deep depression and is stuck on the past is always optimistic. She always worried about the past and stuck on the “what ifs” in her life. Her life has been downhill since her husband pronounced her daughter as “dead” at birth and the many hidden affairs she engaged in. The problem Caroline has is dealing with her personal self.
She has trouble coping with herself feeling that she caused all the hectic issues on David’s family without them even knowing. Even though she felt that pain she always had difficulties of believing in herself and her abilities. But in the book she began to grow a strong women, but after David died she realized that she wasn’t as strong and powerful as she claimed herself to be. Within the story there are few external conflicts but they did still occur. The biggest external conflict was for Caroline, she had many problems with the weather or financial issues.
Phoebe needed a lot of medical care and the best education so Caroline had paid for what she thought was the best. This unfortunately put her in a financial struggle especially when she only had one job with low pay. On a cold, snowy night in 1964 a set of twins were born to the parents Norah and David. David was forced to deliver his own children, because the doctor who was suppose to got into a accident on the way to the hospital. Paul was born healthy and had no unusual conditions, but Phoebe was born with Down Syndrome.
In a tremble of panic, with his wife unconscious. And him reminiscing his childhood, David decided to give his daughter to the nurse Caroline Gill to take to a institution. Little did he know that Caroline too Phoebe to raise as her own and his whole life would forever be based on lies. Norah had no idea that he did this instead David told her she died. This put Norah in a depression and caused David to neglect a lot of his marriage priorities. This made Norah feel worthless she then tried to feel her missing part of life with countless affairs.
When David dies of a heart attack the secret then comes out. The pain caused everyone especially Norah to hate him. This pain also caused Caroline to feel guilt that she didn’t even try to tell Norah that Phoebe was well and alive. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter follows the tragic tale of betrayal, secrets, trust and love. The story The Memory Keeper’s Daughter still til this day can still have a major influence in people’s life. It is a still a relevant story to this day portraying the major importance of life which is to always be truthful and communicate to your loved ones.
Also that lying and keeping secrets will always end up hurting someone in the end of time. Communication always resolves issues, without it feelings and problems go unsolved. I would recommend this book to all 9th grade students because it not only explores character, sets tone and mood creates a small town home feeling it’s a great message to the young generation. Young people should learn early to know that there is always consequences to something wrong you do. This book is good to show what we should and shouldn’t do in our lives.