The Time Traveler’s Wife
The time traveler’s wife is a poignant tale about the mysteries of love and the sacrifices people has to face to be able to achieve eternal love. Henry, the genetically-impaired man, consequently travels through time. With his numerous selves in different times, he faces several events that mark the tragedies and triumphs in his life especially when he met the love of his life, the artist, Clare Abshire.
Henry starts time traveling when he was five, leaping forward and backward comparative to his own timeline. All uncontrollable are the time he travels, how long it will last and to what destination will time bring him. His itineraries are under his subconscious—he frequently travels to places that are related to his own history. Certain stimuli like stress can set off Henry’s time traveling; he frequently goes jogging to maintain his calmness and to remain in the present time. He also tries to find out pharmaceuticals in the future that might be capable to aid his time traveling. He also asks the guidance of a geneticist, Dr. Kendrick. Henry was not able to take anything with him into the future or the past; he at all times turns up naked and then thrashes about to find clothing, shelter and food. He accrues a quantity of endurance skills through lock-picking, self defense and pick pocketing. A good deal of this he becomes skilled at from grown-up accounts of himself.
Along with his frequent trips backward and forward in time, the critical event in Henry’s early life it the hideous death of his mother, which he witnesses as a child and revisits compulsively as an adult. This unfortunate circumstance has great impacts on the life of Henry. Aside from the fact that this caused the gap between his father and him, he painstakingly realizes the truth about his genetic impairment. He witnesses the death of his mother several times and the pain he feels through those times caused him to accept the reality of his illness.
The death of Henry’s mother provoked him to become stronger. At one point, the older Henry rescued the confused young Henry after the vicious accident that Henry’s mother’s life. The strength derived from this incident forged Henry to continue life with enough adaptations, although poor mitigations, to live life with the illness.
Wisegeek.com (2010) explains foreshadowing as “an old literary device. Uses of it occur before the development of the novel in the 18th century. Both Chaucer and Shakespeare employed foreshadowing, as did Dante. In short poems, foreshadowing may not be particularly effective, but in longer poems, which were frequently the writing style of the middle Ages, foreshadowing is very effective and important.” Like the mentioned authors, Audrey Niffeneger, author of the best-selling novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, employed excellently foreshadowing through the death of the male protagonist’s mother to signify other important events in the story. This did not only help in the development of plot, but also in the manner by the emotions of the characters were intensified to a level that accelerates interest in the novel.
The death of Henry’s mother is a foreshadowing event of many other tragedies to come. In this sad tale, death begets death. The novel started with death and ends with death. The tragic realization of Henry’s illness is a hint that, indeed, the novel will be full of several other tragic incidences. This includes the aloofness of happiness in Henry’s life as he gets along with his married life with Clare. The happiness he feels as he rides in the back seat of her mother’s car before her death is comparable to the scene while the Henry’s family and friends were happily celebrating the yuletide season while Henry travels to that time of his death when he was shot by Clare’s father. He then travels back to his house wounded and dying.
Moreover, neither Henry nor his mother knows his genetic impairment and the death of his mother signals their realization. It can be a symbolism of happiness that every time Henry feels happiness within tragedy follows. Some scenes that show this is his marriage. This significant day is one of those days when he travels. Clare feels bad about this but she has no other choice but to accept this.
Most times, Henry tries to change the events the day his mother dies but he failed each time. It is another foreshadowing that Henry and Clare’s love for each other has no other choice but to accept fate as it is. It is comparable to the times when the couple tries to seek expert advice but fails to have utmost results. The significant death of Henry’s mother is a foreshadowing of prophecy and omen that tragedy is, indeed, part of Henry’s life no matter how hard he tries to escape this. The film, again, started with Henry’s first crucial jiffy in life – the demise of his opera singing mother in a Christmas Eve car crash while he was six and for which he has held himself conscientious ever since. Henry’s mother dies on a Christmas Eve and he himself, too, died on a Christmas Eve. Both moments were supposedly happy, but both, also, ended otherwise.