When We Were Orphans Themes

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Ishiguro delves into the mysterious nature of memory. Throughout the whole story, Christopher is consistently frustrated with the unreliability of his memory. He finds himself doubting what is fact and what his mind has fabricated. He also finds that he is unable to recall what he clearly remembered a few years ago. So, in trying to solve the mystery of his parents, he has very little to work with. On the other hand, at random moments, he recalls details that he had long forgotten.

The profound effect of memory in the way it shapes one's life is also explored. For example, he remembers his mother standing-up against the health inspector. Even he admits that he is unreliable about the details of the memory. However, whatever remained is enough to uphold the image of his mother as a brave heroine. Because of this and because he...

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This section contains 1,006 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When We Were Orphans Study Guide
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