Study Guide

Inkheart Memory and the Past

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Memory and the Past

They say an elephant never forgets—but Dustfinger, though no elephant, takes holding tight to memories to a whole new level. The characters in Inkheart are all driven by their memories of the past in some way or another, but Dustfinger's longing to get back to his own story—which he constantly remembers and thinks about—is so strong that he'll do practically anything for just a chance at returning.

Mo's memories of his wife compel him to keep trying to keep or obtain a copy of Inkheart so that he can read her back out of the book; and though Meggie doesn't remember her mom that well, learning more about what actually happened in the past helps her understand the present. Even Capricorn has an interesting relationship with the past in that he's built up an image of himself so powerful and strong that he's obscured his past with it, like laying new wallpaper over old wallpaper in a room.

Knowledge may be power, but in Inkheart, memories pack quite a wallop in their own right.

Questions About Memory and the Past

  1. Do you think it's good or bad that Meggie doesn't remember much about her mom?
  2. Is Dustfinger too attached to the past? Why or why not?
  3. Is there anything about Capricorn's past that surprises you? If so, what?
  4. How do Elinor's memories of her childhood contrast with Meggie's memories of her childhood?

Chew on This

Characters who have more knowledge of the past in Inkheart tend to be more empowered than those who don't.

Mo and Dustfinger are equally attached to the past, but Mo expresses his obsession in a healthier way.

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