Why did the twins via the umbilical cords erase Helen's knowledge of their cosmic birth in the book Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq? Provide examples.
In Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq, the twins erase Helen's memory of their cosmic birth via their umbilical cords because she was screaming at their unusual appearance. Each twin’s umbilicus enters one of Helen’s eyes and installs in her mind a memory that is more plausible. Both then rejoin the babies’ bodies, and the babies have become normal-looking newborns.
In Tanya Tagaq’s novel Split Tooth, both a friend named Helen and the Northern Lights assist the narrator with the birth of her twins. The babies were highly unusual looking at birth, which caused Helen to scream. The twins’ umbilical cords separate from their bodies and enter Helen’s mind through her eyes. They take the memory of their births out of her consciousness and substitute “a more plausible birthing memory.”
The Northern Lights made the experience painless and even pleasurable. When the narrator’s waters broke, they flowed out as a sparkling green liquid. The lights then intervened. The first baby, her son Savik, slips out without causing her any pain. Her daughter Nava also emerges freely. Concentrating on the birthing experience, the narrator does not see them until after Helen does. It is Helen’s screams that alert her to sit up and look at them. The babies had emerged covered in green slime and were unusually shaped. Helen was apparently horrified.
The narrator feels that the snakelike babies are “the most beautiful things that [she] have ever seen.” Their pulsating, three-foot-long bodies are almost as thin as the umbilical cords. They make a sound like lightning, and move just as quickly. Interpreting Helen’s distress, the bloody umbilical cords detach themselves from the navels and shoot into Helen’s eyes. For a few moments, Helen is motionless and silent as the cords remove the old memory and replace it with a more typical birthing scene. The babies soon transform into normal-looking infants, and Helen calmly brings them to the narrator’s breast.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial