Goodbye, Vitamin Themes & Motifs

Khong, Rachel
This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Goodbye, Vitamin.
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The Interdependent Nature of Memory

In a novel that deals with Alzheimer's disease, it is no surprise that memory develops as a key theme. Howard’s episodes of forgetfulness are pervasive throughout the novel, from the opening page when Howard’s pants are found in the neighborhood trees, to his more violent lashing out against Ruth. Yet, Khong's characters contemplate the nature of memory not only in regards to Howard's ailing mind, but also in their own daily lives. Several of the characters experience moments of "losing it" (39), like when Uncle John forgets the ice at Thanksgiving, or when Ruth accidentally puts a library book in someone's mail box. These moments, juxtaposed with Howard's sweeping episodes of forgetfulness, remind us that a wavering memory is simply part of the human experience.

While there is certainly emphasis placed on memory slipping away, Khong also emphasizes the act of...

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This section contains 2,098 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Goodbye, Vitamin Study Guide
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