Born: June 13, 1963 in Haven,
grew up in the Chicago suburb
of Evanston, Illinois
Education: B.F.A., School of the
Art Institute of Chicago; M.F.A.,
Currently lives in Chicago, Illinois
First Novel: The Time Traveler’s
Awards: Ragdale Foundation
Are there connections between the author’s life, culture,
philosophy about literature and the literary text?
There were a lot of similarities between the
characters and the authors’ life.
1. Same location: Michigan and Chicago
2. Same job with Clare: artist
3. Music lover
4. The author loves to travel which is somehow
related to Henry’s time travel.
5. The author does not have a TV and Henry
does not like TV because it causes him to
6. Clare’s mother used to make a diary and
7. Henry has no religion and the author is
What is the significance of the literary text or the
writing of the literary work to the author?
The author wanted to write about a perfect
marriage that is challenged by something outside
the control of the couple.
Does the author of this particular story remind you of
any author we have taken up in class?
1. Ernest Hemingway – both grew up in
2. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – both drew and
wrote about things when they were young
3. A. S. Byatt – both are non believer of
What is the geographical, historical and social setting (setting in
time and place) of the story?
Since Henry is a time traveler, the setting usually changes.
The story first happened in year 1965 and ended in year
2053. Henry and Clare first met in the meadow in South
Haven, Michigan where Clare parents’ live. When Clare
was younger, the meadow served as a meeting place for
them. This place is important because many of the
important events of their lives happened there. When they
got married, the setting was in Chicago. This is the place
where Henry grew up. Clare worked here as an artist in a
Will a different setting change the story significantly?
In a way, it can change the story but I do not think
that would be a great impact. For example, if Henry’s
parents moved to another place, there will be no
significant change in the story.
Does the setting affect the other elements of the story? Does it
affect the atmosphere/mood of the story?
Yes, I think that the setting would affect some of the
elements of the story like the plot and how the
characters met. In case they met in the a beach, for
example, Clare and Henry would not be able to meet
because many people can see them.
Trace the action of the story, what happens in the different parts
of the plot.
Exposition: The story started in the present time when
Henry is 28 and Clare is 20. Henry did not actually know
Clare during this time because he only met Clare when he
reached 35 years old. This stage was like the getting to
know each other and bonding stage.
Rising Action: This was the time when they were falling in
love with each other and they decided to get married later
on. Clare was also very desperate to have a baby even if she
had six miscarriages. It was also in this stage wherein Henry
decided to get a vasectomy so that he could not make Clare
Trace the action of the story, what happens in the different parts
of the plot.
Climax: The beginning of the climax was when they saw
Henry’s body lying on the ground wounded. Henry was
also paralyzed because of his putrid feet. Then during his
time travel, he was accidentally shot by his father-in-law
and brother-in-law when they were hunting in the forest.
He died because of that incident.
Falling action: Clare continued her life after Henry’s
death and waited for him to come back.
Resolution: Henry went back to Clare when she was
already 82 years old. Clare just waited for Henry during
her entire life from the time that they met up to Henry’s
death. She still kept on waiting for him to appear.
Does the story have a turning point? Point out where and explain
why you think this is the turning point.
Yes. When Clare heard from the doctor that Henry’s feet
will be amputated, Clare really felt worried and bothered
because she knew that Henry really depends on his feet. I
think that this is the turning point because Henry’s life
will be useless and gone if his feet were amputated.
Does the story’s structure employ flashbacks? Flash forwards or
parts that foresee/foretell upcoming events?
Yes, there were a lot of flashbacks especially in the start
of the novel. When Henry felt stressed, he went back to
the same events in his life which were important and sad
Clare (18): “I’m eighteen.”
Henry (41): “Heavens, so you are. It seems like only
yesterday that you were six.
Compare or contrast this story’s plot with any other text we have
taken up, films you’ve watch or any other story you know of.
I think this novel was really unlike any other movies
that I have watched especially that the story is about a
time traveler. There were movies before that involved
time traveling but through the use of a time machine.
Static – She always keep on waiting for Henry to come back
every time he time traveled. Until the end of the story, she
still waited for Henry to come back. Clare even said when
she was already 82 years old, “it’s not much different from
the many other times he was gone, and I waited, except
that this time I have instructions: this time I know Henry
will come, eventually.”
Static – His personality did not change until the end of the
story. He still time traveled and has no control of it until
he died. July 24, 2054, Henry is 43 and Clare is 82. “He
found himself in a dark hallway.” This means he still went
back to his previous life.
Annette DeTamble, Richard Detamble, Mrs. Kim,
Dr. Kendrick, Ben, colleagues at the New Library,
Lucile Abshire, Philip Abshire, Mark Abshire and
Fiancee Sharon, Alicia Abshire, Ingrid, Celia, Dr.
Amit Montague, Grandma Meagram, Great Aunt
Alba, Gomez and Charisse
These characters somehow affect the emotions and
mood of the main characters. When Alba was not
yet born, Clare and Henry had a lot of fights
whether to just adopt a baby. At the time that she
was born, they were very happy. Dr. Kendrick also
gave hope to the couple that Henry’s time disorder
can be lessen and avoided.
Are there sympathetic and non-sympathetic characters in the
story? Are there characters that are foils of each other?
Point out some similarities between the characters in the story
and the characters in the literary texts we have taken up in class.
Yes, I find the character of Ingrid sympathetic because she
was very depressed which made her to commit suicide. For
me, Clare was also sympathetic because all her life she has
just been waiting for Henry who just disappear. She was
also very eager to have a baby even if she already had six
In the story “Conscience”, I find Luigi and Ingrid have
similar characteristics. Both of them are determined to do
whatever they want.
How many kinds of conflicts can you see in the story? What kinds
of conflicts are there? Cite parts in the story that specifically
show the conflict/s.
The conflict were human vs. human, human vs. nature, and
human vs. self. Clare and Henry had several fights because
of Clare’s eagerness to have a baby. Henry had difficulties
every time he time traveled especially when he was in a
winter season. Sometimes, Henry wanted to changed or
correct the past but he could not do anything about it since
what happened happens. Also, his time traveling bothers
“And then I started to time travel back to that day,
over and over, and I wanted to warn her mother, and
Trace the development and resolution of the conflict/s.
Do the conflicts remind you of the conflicts in any other story you’ve
read or movie you’ve watched?
In a way, most of the stories that we have taken up have
similar conflicts with Time Traveler’s Wife since we have
tackled conflicts about human vs. human, human vs.
nature, and human vs. self.
Henry and Clare had a disagreement on which house would
they buy or rent because Henry had already seen their house
in the future. Then, they had quarreled about having a baby
because Clare had six miscarriages already. Henry’s solution
to this was to have a vasectomy but Clare got pregnant by
Henry in the past. They also had quarreled about getting
their daughter’s DNA. Clare did not have a choice and just
go through with it since Henry already did it.
Point of View
The point of view used in the novel was the first person or
the character itself. Every chapter or every scene, the
author wrote the name of the character speaking which
made it easier for the readers.
“I wouldn’t change anything I wouldn’t give up one second
of our life together.”
This is during Christmas’ eve when Henry was almost
dying. Clare was talking to him telling him how much she
What point of view or lens is used in the text? Who is telling the
story? Can you give one or two lines in the story that elucidates
The first person perspective helps the readers know what
the characters really feel directly. Unlike if it is from
another’s point of view, then the readers might not have
the impact that they could get directly from the character
itself. Their feelings and emotion are expressed in a way
that the readers could really feel what they are feeling.
Point of View
Which of the stories we have taken up resemble your chosen
literary text’s POV?
The stories “Salvation” and “The Use of Force” both
uses the first person point of view which is the same
with the The Time Traveler’s Wife.
How does POV influence the story? How different would the story
be if told from a different POV?
What is the whole story about? What universal human experience
does it reflect? Try to summarize the author's meaning in one
paragraph. Try to state the theme of the work in one sentence?
The theme of the story is about love, time, and family.
The whole story is about the never ending love of Clare
and Henry. The universal human experience that the
story reflects is the unconditional love of Henry and
Clare. Clare still waited for Henry even though he
already died for several years.
Identify symbols, metaphors and narrative devices that would
support your interpretation of the literary work. Cite some lines
that contain these symbols.
1. Museum/Library – The Store Houses of Time
Henry liked museums since he was a little kid. There
was once that his parents took him to a museum and he
was so excited about it that he could not sleep the
night before. He had no control of his time travel and
the museum made him feel at home where past, present,
and future existed at the same time. It makes him feel
2. Time – A Tape Recorder
Henry compared the tape recorder to a time traveler’s
life to explain to Clare (when she was six years old)
how it works.
3. Clare’s Dream – Hope and Fear
Clare had a dream of being a mermaid on the night
before her wedding day. She was afraid that she might
not be able to marry Henry. She was full of hope and
determined to marry Henry. Clare also dreamt about
having babies. She was worried if she will have a baby.
“I have been dreaming all night. The dreams
merge, now. In one part of this dream I was
swimming in the ocean, I was a mermaid.”
“I dream that my mother and I are walking
together down a quiet residential street in South
Haven. I am carrying a baby. As we walk, the baby
becomes heavier and heavier, until I can barely lift
4. Henry’s Dream – Loss of Freedom
He dreamt that his feet was amputated. Without his feet,
he could not run and running for him is one way of
escaping from danger especially when he is time traveling.
The loss of his feet means the loss of control over his life
and sense of being.
“Look, they’re all white!” And it’s true, the skin has
gone dead white, the feet are lifeless and putrid.
What is your interpretation of these symbols? What is their
significance to the theme? What meanings do these symbols,
narrative devices give to the story?
Examine the title of the work, the names of the characters and places in
the story. Are they also symbolic? Does the title lend to the main idea of
The title definitely gives the readers an idea of what it is
about. Basically, the story was about Clare and Henry which
suits the title The Time Traveler’s Wife. The names of the
characters were not symbolic. The place used like the
meadow was really appropriate since nobody can see them
when they meet. Other places in the story were also
The symbols and theme give the readers the ability to think
critically. It also gives the readers the idea what will
happen next in the story.
Are the title and names or the use of the title and names similar to
any literary class we have taken up in HUMALIT?
The title of the book is somehow similar to the story of
Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” because both of them
involved time in the title. The names used, however, did not
have similarities to the story’s that we have taken in class.
The names in the novel and in the stories were not the
Yes, because it made me think and analyzed what will
happen next in the story and how it will end. I compared
the dates and events. I analyzed it in a chronological order
whether it match or not.
Give your own definition of "Literature"--a definition that you
have developed by going through the course.
Literature is a way of writing which uses language that can
give the reader the ability to think and analyze the story
in a critical way.
Refer to the Terry Eagleton essay/my lecture entitled “What is
Literature?” to answer the following question:
Do you consider the literary work you have chosen as literature?
Write a short paragraph or two that explains why you think so or
do not think so.
Flanagan, M. (2003). “Audrey Niffenegger Interview” retrieved from
Lundquist, M. “Time Traveler's Wife (Niffenegger) - Author Bio”
retrieved from http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-
Characters, Theme and Symbolism:
“The Time Traveler's Wife” retrieved from
Lines from the E-book: