The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife Theme of Mortality
The Time Traveler's Wife explores the many ways in which death can impact the lives of those close to the deceased. Some characters in this particular account continue to live as they come to accept the death that just occurred, while others essentially die along with their loved ones. Henry's father, for example, loses his will to live after his wife passes away. And Clare's mother actually tries to commit suicide after the death of her baby. On the other hand, characters like Mrs. Kim, who lost her daughter and her husband, muster the strength to accept death as part of life and move on.
Questions About Mortality
- Would you want to know when and how you will die?
- Henry thinks that Clare's miscarriages mean that nature is preventing him from procreating. What might be the consequences of a whole time-traveling nation?
- When Clare's mom dies, a part of her dies too. Similarly, Henry's father is unable to move on after his wife's death. Henry's response is to just keep traveling back to the scene of her death to see what he can do. Which seems to be the healthiest response to death?
- Henry keeps the time of his death from Clare until the end. Do you think that was a good or bad decision?
- Do you think that Henry's ability to travel back in time makes it harder or easier for him to cope with the death of his mother? How is this similar to or different from how Alba's time traveling abilities help her deal with Henry's death?