The Time Keeper by Albom provides a basis for students to explore the contexts which influence both themselves and the writer through the inclusion of a variety of moral, religious and spiritual issues.
The style of Albom’s writing present these topics in a nature to stimulate discussion surrounding the connections between the culture of themselves and those highlighted in the novel. Topics of suicide, cryostasis, Old Testament religion, and the abuse of time are used to engage the social and cultural issues of the current society and present them in a way where they are easily addressed, creating opportunities for students to engage with the cultures addressed in the novel.
The three main characters, Dor, Sarah and Victor are created to engage and present a historical and social view of the issues that are present within the society they are part of. The primitive and simple lifestyle of Dor highlights the significant shift in cultural beliefs. The privileged and high social standing of Victor sheds light on how far the moral and ethical bounds of a structured society can be pushed before they can be bought over. Sarah’s lifestyle and desire to fit into society mimics that of the current society.
Due to the publication of the novel in 2012, many of the spiritual and religious issues addressed are concurrent to those of today’s world. The inclusion of current social issues provides the opportunity for students to develop an understanding of these issues in a format that allows them to engage easily with the content. This closely links to the inclusion of the Teaching and Learning Strategies outlined in the BSSS Curriculum as part of the Faith and Doubt Unit.
The novel is highly relevant to the course of Faith and Doubt as an English study as it presents varying journeys in a format that lends itself to eased consumption and interpretation. It addresses significant components of the curriculum and provides a basis for further study and personal reflection to the concerns of the current society; whilst providing comparison to the culture of the early pre-Christian culture. This comparison is furthered by Albom’s style and faith which he has included in the novel.
As people within a world that presents a variety of world-views and lifestyles, Albom’s writing addresses these, and presents a clear perspective of discussion. This allows the reader to engage with the information presented; yet take from it what they will. It can be read to find meaning spiritually, intellectually, or ethically, or simply just as a novel.
ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS), (2013). English T. [online] BSSS Courses. Available at: http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0020/314264/English_T_06-15_updated_October_2013.docx [Accessed 27 May 2015].
Albom, M. (2012). The Time Keeper. New York: Hyperion.
Miller, J. (2012). Mitch Albom’s ‘The Time Keeper’ Offers Wisdom for Days of Awe. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-jason-miller/mitch-alboms-the-timekeeper-offers-days-of-awe-wisdom_b_1868663.html [Accessed 27 May 2015].