The Time Traveler’s Wife is a story about a man traveling to different times in his life. The movie starts out by this young boy traveling, but then he meets himself but the older version. Henry, the time traveler, is in the library when he meets Claire. He doesn’t know it, but he has visited Claire his whole life. They end up getting married, and after many attempts to have a child, they end up having a little girl, Alba. Alba is a time traveler as well. The difference between Henry and Alba is that Alba can kind of control when and where she is time traveling. Alba tells her dad when he is going to die. He dies when she says he will, however even after his death, he still travels back to see his sweet daughter and loving wife.
There were two things that Henry said in this movie that related to things we talked about in class over the course of the semester.
- “I can’t change what happens to them…it just happens anyways.” In this particular example, he was talking about trying to save his mother. His mother died as a result of a car crash. He has seen her death multiple times and each time he tries to make things happen differently, but the circumstances are set in time. This quote made me think of two things. The first thing was A Sound of Thunder. In this story, everyone was supposed to stay on the path. In A Sound of Thunder, no one wanted to change anything because it would mess up what happened in the present time. However, the difference between The Time Traveler’s Wife and A Sound of Thunder is that Henry wanted to change what happened, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never change anything. That leads me to the next point. In Slaughterhouse Five, the Tralfmadorians believe that everything that happens has always happened and will never change. This mindset lines up exactly to what Henry said. Even though Henry tried so hard to make all things happen for the best, he knew he would never be able to change anything because everything happens like it happens and no one can change them.
- “Knowing things about your life will make you crazy.” Henry said this to Gomez when Gomez asked Henry to prove that he was really a time traveler. He said that in order to prove to him that Henry was a time traveler he needed to tell Gomez something about his life like will he go bald or will his wife go bald. Henry then responded with the quote above. When Henry said his response it made me think about Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim was somewhat insane. Even his kids worried about him. I had to ask myself “why would knowing things about your life make you crazy?” I thought about Christmas when I was a child. I always knew when Christmas Eve was. I always knew that I was going to have presents when I woke up the next morning, but it always drove me insane to have to wait until Christmas morning to actually get those gifts. I would imagine that this is the feeling that Henry is refering to . After Billy went to the Tralfamadorian planet, he realized that even when he traveled back and forth to different times in his life, he would never be able to change things that happened to him or to people around him. Then he went back home and did all this time traveling. When he returned back to present day, he did seem insane. Even Billy’s daughter thought that he had lost his mind a little. I do think that people knowing things about their future would drive them mad. Billy Pilgrim was a great example of Henry’s statement.
- Finally, this movie definitely related to Slaughterhouse Five. In Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, his main character Billy Pilgrim traveled from the present to the future, back to the past, back to the future, then back to present day. Henry also did the same thing. He didn’t just go into the future. He went to the past sometimes (back to the meadow when Claire was a little girl), and he sometimes jumped ahead to the future (when he talked to his daughter at the park/zoo). Billy and Henry are alike, but they are also different. Billy basically lost his mind as he time traveled. He also never really questioned his traveling. He just went with the flow. However, Henry wasn’t so passive. He questioned his time traveling, but he also knew that there was nothing he could do to stop the traveling. So again, there are some connections one could make between Billy and Henry, but they are also very different from one another.
I have seen this movie once or twice before taking this class, but as I watched the movie this time, things were brought to my attention that I haven’t noticed before. I personally thought this movie was sad. Most people would disagree and say that time traveling has to be one of the coolest things ever, but I am looking at it from Claire’s point of view. As Henry’s wife, she just has to accept that he has a condition that there is no cure for. She has to accept the fact that she is alone most of the time. I just find this movie sad and upsetting because it has to be hard on Henry knowing that he doesn’t know when he will travel or where he will travel, and it has to be even harder knowing that he is leaving behind a wife that needs him. Eventually he leaves behind a daughter who needs him as well. However, one thing I did like about this movie was that even after he died, he could still travel and see his wife and child even though he was dead. This movie was definitely different than most movies, but i enjoyed watching The Time Traveler’s Wife.