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The Memory Keeper's Daughter BC Discussion #3


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#31 starchild

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    Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:04 PM

    Okay guys I found these online...if any of them jump out at you go for it!


    1. What do you think Norah’s reaction would have been if David had been honest with her from the beginning? How might Norah have responded to the news that she had a daughter with Down syndrome? How might each of their lives have been different if David had not handed Phoebe to Caroline that fateful day?


    2. Throughout the novel, the characters often describe themselves as feeling as if they are watching their own lives from the outside. For instance, David describes the moment when his wife is going into labor and says “he felt strangely as if he himself were suspended in the room . . . watching them both from above” (p. 10). What do you think Edwards is trying to convey here? Have you ever experienced similar feelings in your own life?


    3. When David instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to the institution, Caroline could have flatly refused or she could have gone to the authorities. Why doesn’t she? Was she right to do what she did and raise Phoebe as her own? Was Caroline morally obligated to tell Norah the truth right from the beginning? Or was her moral obligation simply to take care of Phoebe at whatever cost? Why does she come to Norah after David’s death?


    4. Though David wanted no part of her, Phoebe goes on to lead a full life, bringing much joy to Caroline and Al. Her story calls into question how we determine what kind of life is worth living. How would you define such a life? In contrast to Phoebe’s, how would you describe the quality of Paul’s life as he grew up?

    #32 Yari

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      Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

      1. What do you think Norah’s reaction would have been if David had been honest with her from the beginning? How might Norah have responded to the news that she had a daughter with Down syndrome? How might each of their lives have been different if David had not handed Phoebe to Caroline that fateful day?

      I think Norah would have blamed David for Phoebe having Down Syndrome. I felt like she is very selfish and would have been more of a beaotch to live with then she already was.



      2. When David instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to the institution, Caroline could have flatly refused or she could have gone to the authorities. Why doesn’t she? Was she right to do what she did and raise Phoebe as her own? Was Caroline morally obligated to tell Norah the truth right from the beginning? Or was her moral obligation simply to take care of Phoebe at whatever cost? Why does she come to Norah after David’s death?

      Caroline was in love with David and did anything he asked. I also don't think she was strong enough at that point to say no.

      I do believe that Caroline was morally obligated to tell Norah right from the start. I think Caroline felt guilty for the majority of Phoebe's life. I believe she went to visit Norah after David's death because the David had some sort of hold on her. Once he was dead the hold was release. I think she was always afraid or put Norah on this high pedestal. She was jealous of her and once the connection of David was gone Norah was no longer intimidated of her.


      #33 starchild

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        Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:04 AM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Yari
        2. When David instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to the institution, Caroline could have flatly refused or she could have gone to the authorities. Why doesn’t she? Was she right to do what she did and raise Phoebe as her own? Was Caroline morally obligated to tell Norah the truth right from the beginning? Or was her moral obligation simply to take care of Phoebe at whatever cost? Why does she come to Norah after David’s death?

        Caroline was in love with David and did anything he asked. I also don't think she was strong enough at that point to say no.

        I do believe that Caroline was morally obligated to tell Norah right from the start. I think Caroline felt guilty for the majority of Phoebe's life. I believe she went to visit Norah after David's death because the David had some sort of hold on her. Once he was dead the hold was release. I think she was always afraid or put Norah on this high pedestal. She was jealous of her and once the connection of David was gone Norah was no longer intimidated of her.
        I agree and I totally couldn't live with that secret. If Norah said "it's too much to handle, take her" that's one thing but to deny Norah the knowledge of her daughter IMO is wrong (and sick really). After David's death I agree it was just easier to approach Norah and tell the truth - but she should have done it as soon as the she realized she couldn't leave her at the home all those years ago.

        #34 Heidi

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          Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:30 AM

          oh shoot, I didn't even see these! If I have time tonight I"ll come back & comment on them!
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          #35 becks

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          Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:13 AM

          Okay, so I'm grossly late getting here, but here I am. With the trip to Mexico and the move, I've been a teensy busy.

          It's interesting to me to hear you guys comment on how much David loved Nora. To me, I didn't see love - not by my definition anyway - I see David as obsessing. He follows her thru the department store, marries quickly, hides the truth about Phoebe, and then starts photographing her body as landscape. I didn't se respect for Norah as an individual or appreciation of her intellect.

          I think David was trying to find someone fragile to protect the way he couldn't protect his sister. In my mind, he saw Norah (initially) as a beautiful, fragile, timid creature. And then when she started exerting herself, he saw her as less and less human (almost) because he realized she didn't need his constant protection.

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          #36 Yari

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            Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:33 AM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by becks
            Okay, so I'm grossly late getting here, but here I am. With the trip to Mexico and the move, I've been a teensy busy.

            It's interesting to me to hear you guys comment on how much David loved Nora. To me, I didn't see love - not by my definition anyway - I see David as obsessing. He follows her thru the department store, marries quickly, hides the truth about Phoebe, and then starts photographing her body as landscape. I didn't se respect for Norah as an individual or appreciation of her intellect.

            I think David was trying to find someone fragile to protect the way he couldn't protect his sister. In my mind, he saw Norah (initially) as a beautiful, fragile, timid creature. And then when she started exerting herself, he saw her as less and less human (almost) because he realized she didn't need his constant protection.
            That is definitely an interesting perspective.

            #37 Birdie07

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              Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:12 PM

              I agree that secrets shouldn't be kept. I'll share my family secret. My grandma just passed away last month. Well her sister and her had a huge fued. They lived across the street from each other. Her sister never had kids and never married. My grandmother had 4 children. Well I guess my mom was my grandpa's little angel and could do no wrong but my grandma held her at arms length. Well, when my grandma's sister was passing my 2 uncles were there and she said that my mom was not my grandma's. And died. Uh great. I guess my grandma said this too. Anyways, we know my grandpa cheated. So they think (theres no proof) that my grandpa cheated with the aunt and she had my mom but b/c she wasn't married she gave her to my grandma to raise. It's why my grandma treated her like that and my grandpa adored her. Crazy hmmm...But if they had just told the truth we'd know. But now we'll never know. And it means I could of really never met my real grandma!!!

              #38 jajajaja

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                Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:14 PM

                Sounds a lot like my family's dark secret except it was 2 men and one woman. Plus we don't really know- only suspicions.
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                #39 yamille

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                  Posted 29 May 2008 - 06:17 PM

                  I completely agree with Becks about David not really truly LOVING Norah. I mean I think that he was really more obsessed with her. There was surely love there but not mutual respect and deep love. I also think that this has something to do with the fact that he was able to keep such an important thing a secret from her. I know that he wanted to protect her but I think that keeping Phoebe a secret was crazy.

                  #40 starchild

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                    Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:16 PM

                    Calia that's crazy!!! See how many people were affected by someone's decision to lie. Nothing against your family because lots of families have little fibs like that...it's nuts!




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