You Can't Fight Fate

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An obvious and heavily implied notion within the novel A Time Traveler's Wife is that fate cannot be changed.  Regardless of the fact that Henry can travel through time, he is still frustratingly unable to change any of the events which he witnesses.  Everything, both good and bad, that ever happened was supposed to happen exactly as it did, and there's not a single act which he could take to prevent it from occurring. 

Many people, not just the fictional character Henry would like to travel back into the past and rewind the past to change the outcome of certain life experiences, whether it be a car accident, the loss of a friendship, or the death of a parent.  However, The Time Traveler's Wife does not embellish this desire.  Rather, it explores the relationship between humanities' free will and the power that God has in our lives.  

Page 57 especially exemplifies this concept:

"'I was just talking about that with a self from 1992.  He said something interesting: he said that he thinks there is only free will when you are in time, in the present.  He says in the past we can only do what we did , and we can only be there if we were there.'

'But whenever I am, that's my present.  Shouldn't I be able to decide -'      

'No. Apparently not.'

'What did he say about the future?'

'Well, think.  You go to the future, you do something, you come back to the present.  Then the thing that you did is part of your past.  So that's probably inevitable, too.'

'...But then I'm no responsible for anything I do while I'm not in the present.'

He smiles. ' Thank God.'
'And everything has already happened?'

'Sure looks that way.' But he said you have to behave as though you have free will, as though you are responsible for what you do.'"


Through this quote, as well as through a multitude of other similar ones within the novel, The Time Travelers Wife sends us a often-forgotten reminder that our past experiences and choices, whether good or bad, have made us the person who we are today.  

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