January 15, 2008

Caroline

Posted in Memory Keeper's Daughter tagged , , at 9:30 pm by Ms. Davis

When David instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to the institution, Caroline could have flatly refused or she could have gone to the authorities. Why doesn’t she? Was she right to do what she did and raise Phoebe on her own? Was Caroline morally obligated to tell Norah the truth right from the beginning? Or was her moral obligation simply to take care of Phoebe at whatever cost?

*This question comes from the Readers’ Guide at the back of my book
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2 Comments »

  1. cakequeen2 said,

    I am seeing some of Caroline’s underlying motives for keeping Phoebe to herself and running away. Remember, she was shocked to see the nuptials in the newspaper of the doctor and his wife, thinking that perhaps she could cultivate a relationship with him.
    Morals can be ambiguous, and sometimes the rules MUST be broken in order to survive. There is no right or wrong solution.

  2. Ms. Davis said,

    I agree that Caroline’s feelings – either in the past or at that moment in time – for the doctor had an effect on her actions. She obviously did not want him to get in trouble – it didn’t seem like this even crossed her mind. As for Caroline’s moral obligations, I’m sure she broke her morals when she took the baby from the doctor in the first place, so expecting Caroline to follow any moral obligation to Norah is unrealistic.
    I think maybe one reason why Caroline’s morals were so flexible in this situation was the isolation she must have been feeling. Not only is she mentally and emotionally isolated in her personal life, but the three of them are physically isolated at the doctor’s office. The snow creates a barrier – physically, mentally, emotionally – between the people in the office and the real world. David feels so isolated that he thinks no one will know what he has done. If it hadn’t snowed, the other doctor would be there, and this situation would have never occurred. It all happens so fast that neither have the time to really think their actions through.


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