Secrets And Lies In The Memory Keeper's Daughter

1650 Words 7 Pages
Secrets and lies; they go hand in hand and need each other to survive. A secret can be defined as not disclosing information while a lie is creating false information. There are many reasons why people decide to keep a secret or tell a lie. These acts, part of human nature, are used as a source of power or as a defense mechanism. In the novel The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, the author, Kim Edwards explores the perception of secrets and lies through the life of the main character, David Henry. The death of David’s sister during his childhood causes him to keep secrets regarding the life of his daughter, eventually leading to the deterioration of his marriage as well as the relationship with his son. David Henry is introduced as a caring man who loves his wife …show more content…
Although David sends his daughter away to save his family from potential heartache, he ends up causing more heartache by keeping the secret. He is completely aware of his predicament as the years go by and while reflecting on his decision in a letter to Norah many years later, David realizes that, “he could hardly image what his life would be without the weight of his hidden knowledge. He’s come to think of it as a kind of penance. It was self destructive, he could see that, but that was the way things were” (322). Over the course of 25 years, David keeps the secret about his daughter, which ultimately impacts the family dynamics. When David thinks that “he could hardly imagine what his life would be without the weight of the hidden knowledge” it becomes clear that the family’s foundation is based on David’s secret. This leads the relationships within the family to be based on such “hidden knowledge”. David’s irrational decision based on his childhood experience and his “hidden knowledge” as a result of that decision both strongly undermine the foundation of his family relationships. Also, David sees his secret “as a kind of penance [being]

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