Remember and Retell: The Transformation of Place and Identity through Memory in Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, Home, and Lila




Danielson, Faith

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis explores the lives of the characters John Ames, Jack Boughton, Glory Boughton, and Lila Ames in the novels Gilead, Home, and Lila in relation to studies on memory, place, identity, and the sacred. In all three of the Gilead-centered novels by Marilynne Robinson, the places of Gilead or the Boughton home are pivotal in inspiring memories that incite transformation in the characters’ perceptions of their memories and their identities in the context of the narrative place of Gilead. Rightly understood, the actions of Robinson’s characters create a framework for readers on how to process their relation to the places they inhabit by both admitting the faults of the place and giving due gratitude for its successes and potential for growth.