The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Memory and the Past Quotes in The Time Traveler's Wife
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
[Henry:] It's funny how memory erodes. If all I had to work from where my childhood memories, my knowledge of my mother would be faded and soft, with a few sharp moments standing out. (1.6.1)
Henry reflects on how human memory fades and becomes inaccurate over time, preserving only the emotional highlights.
[Henry:] I stare at Clare, standing before me, and I am sorry to be here, sorry to ruin her Christmas. "I'm sorry, Clare. I didn't mean to put all this sadness on you. I just find Christmas… difficult." (1.6.40)
Whereas for most people Christmas is a time of joy to celebrate with family, Henry's idea of Christmas will forever be tainted by the memory of his mother's death and how it split his family apart.
[Clare:] "This is my room," I say apprehensively and Henry slips around me and stands in the middle of the rug just looking and when he turns to me I see that he doesn't recognize anything; nothing in the room means a thing to him, and the knife of realization sinks in deeper. (1.9.44)
Clare realizes that in Henry's present, the whole world she's built with him doesn't yet exist – he was an older man when she met him before. She sees that the strong emotional bond she has with him is – as of yet – a one-way street.