Mourning: A Novel Themes & Motifs

Eduardo Halfon
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The Power of Memory to Shape Identity

Through the fragmented narrative structure of the novel, the author explores the power of memory in shaping the individual's sense of self. Because Mourning refuses linear narrative conventions, the reader understands that Eduardo's story is not one that is grounded strictly in tangible events. As Eduardo visits a series of places related to his ancestors' and personal past, he is frequently thrown into long reminiscent bouts. His mind drifts outside of his physical realm and inhabits that of the imagined, the dreamt, and the recalled. Because many of these passages take the shape of memory, or what Eduardo believes to be authentic memories, they lack seeming distinction from his immediate reality. This blur allows the author to show how much the individual relies on his past to construct his present and future identities.

Through Eduardo's memories, therefore, the reader garners...

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This section contains 1,840 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mourning: A Novel Study Guide
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