In The Book of Daniel, written by E.L. Doctorow, the story centers on the son of two American spies who were executed for treason. The book’s main character is the product of his parent’s upbringing and the political environment in which he was raised. In particular we take a look at how the trial and execution of his parents, the corruption within our government, and the downfall of American Radicalism had an impact on his life. Doctorow uses these three occurrences in order to show how these tumultuous events impress upon on one’s individuality.
One of the key events that had an effect on Daniel’s life was that his parents were charged with treason and were sent to the electric chair when he was just a boy. This event affected him and his sister in such a way that no matter how hard they tried, they had an empty void that they couldn’t…show more content… Not to mention being left in the dark of the event. So he believed that if he could find the truth it could help him recover and find himself. However he was not the only sibling who was affected. Both of the children let out their grief in different ways. Daniel decided to push his feelings down farther and farther, and his sister began to use alternatives such as medication and alcohol as a release. The final straw was drawn when she attempted to take her own life. Being declared a danger to herself that is when she was put in a mental institution and was never the same girl he knew. “Today Susan is a starfish. Today she practices the silence of the starfish” (Doctorow 207). Describing her condition shows that she is clearly not in the right frame of mind. She is not the girl he used to know be and will probably never be the same again. Proving that this event did indeed have an impact on not only Daniel but his sister as