The Impossible Knife Of Memory Literary Analysis

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Literary Analysis The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson is the tale of Hayley Kincain, a seventeen year old girl, and her incredibly unstable life with Andy, her father. Andy is a war veteran who suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder, and is constantly assaulted by horrific memories of the past. Hayley’s mother perished in a car accident soon after Hayley was born, while Andy was still deployed in Iraq. Hayley was raised by her grandmother Barbara until Hayley was seven, at which point Barbara died and Andy returned home to care for Hayley. However, Andy’s past war experiences and the horrifying events that he had seen on the battlefield haunted him endlessly. Rather than living a traditional life in an ordinary home, …show more content…

Hayley and her friends Finn, Gracie, and Topher all have different views on topics, the most spoken of which is their views on their own parents. All of them have rough and twisted lives at home, which they express in their conversations in the lunchrooms and libraries. One of the most powerful examples of this occurs between Gracie and Hayley after Gracie has a meltdown in the cafeteria regarding her mother’s relationship with Gracie’s father: “Gracie’s father was an engineer, her mother, an accountant. I couldn’t picture either one of them yelling or throwing things or having affairs. I could see my dad doing stuff like that. Trish sure did. But Dad carried a war in his skull, and Trish was a drunk. Gracie’s parents didn’t have anything like that to deal with, but their daughter was falling apart on the bathroom floor” (Anderson 127). As a result of the realistic portrayal of these characters and the dilemmas in their lives, these characters bring life to the story and evoke the reflection of one’s own morals and beliefs. Connections to the reader’s own life and understanding for the hardships of the characters in the book are easily made, as the characters are fleshed out and

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