Analysis Of The Novel 'The Memory Keeper's Daughter'

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A Heart With A Superfluous Chromosome Forty-six. This is the number of chromosomes a person has in their body. Forty-seven. This number represents the number of chromosomes present in the body of a person with Down syndrome. Every year, thousands of children are born with Down syndrome to families anticipating the birth of a healthy baby. An extra chromosome will forever change their lives. Kim Edwards assess the effects on one’s life of having a child with Down syndrome in her book: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Through internal conflicts, numerous character foils, and a significant setting, the decision of choosing to raise a child with a disability is both tough and rewarding, thus making the appraisal not to partake will lead to deficient emotional sensations of fulfillment in one’s life. Norah Henry, preparing to give birth, looks at her husband with optimistic eyes as she says, “Our world will never be the same” (Edwards 17). As these words flowed from Norah Henry’s lips, they were with positive intention: the way their worlds would become a new chapter filled with the joy of embracing new life. The seconds leading up to the exact moment Dr. David Henry made the decision to not care for his newborn daughter, with Down syndrome was the moment everything began to change. This decision serves as a catalyst of all conflict in the novel. Throughout the Novel, David Henry experiences internal conflicts in reference to his decisions. The perception a father has of his child’s disability is reflected in the way David reacts to his daughter: “A classic case… A mongoloid”(Edwards 16). In Recognising Fathers: The Needs of Fathers of Children with Disabilities, Carpenter and Towers observe that when a baby is born with a disability,... ... middle of paper ... ...s Phoebe accomplish developmental milestones and believes her daughter has the same rights as any other child. With passion and confidence, she becomes an advocate for Down syndrome, insisting the world see these children as individuals capable of learning and demanding change and rights for their children. Michelle Jarman, PHD, is an Assiastant professor of Disability Studies at the University of Wyoming. In The Jornal of American Cultrue, Jarman evaluates “Entanglements of Diability, ethnicity, and relations: Orienting toward belonging in George Estreich’s The Shape of the Eye.” Estreich’s book gives readers a glimpse of the challenges and difficulties parents of children with Down Syndrome face. Ranging in severity from social discrimination, eating meals on their own, and ensuring that the world is continually striving to be shaped in acceptance of their child.

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