The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides

by

Karim Chandra

Part 5
Summary

Alicia’s diary outlines her murder confession. She also describes how Theo had been the intruder in the house. He forces Gabriel to choose between his life and that of his wife. The fact that Gabriel chooses to preserve his life, at the expense of his wife’s, brings back Alicia’s childhood memory, whereby her father had chosen to murder her spirit — he had chosen her mother’s life over Alicia’s. Despite Theo leaving without killing either one of them, the recurrence of Alicia’s childhood trauma drives her into a spiteful rage. Once again, a man that she loves has killed her spirit. Alicia vengefully kills her husband in cold blood. Although Alicia admits that she is guilty of her husband’s murder in the diary, she hopes that Theo will also pay for his crimes. Before she passes out from the morphine injection, Alicia writes about Theo’s involvement in Gabriel’s death and hides her diary.

Theo’s guilt is discussed at length by the author. Theo feels that he has let down his therapist, Ruth. Everything that he has done goes against Ruth’s advice, as well as her expectations of his conduct. The author states how Theo had only aided Alicia so that he could cover his tracks and avoid getting incriminated for Gabriel’s murder. To silence Alicia, Theo injects her with morphine and thereby leaving her in an induced coma. He then goes to her room where he pretends to assist Indira in arranging Alicia’s belongings because they doubt whether Alicia will ever wake up from the coma. When Indira leaves, Theo frantically searches for Alicia’s diary but fails to find it. Nevertheless, he is convinced that since the diary did not mention him, no one would know of his involvement in Gabriel’s murder.

Towards the end of the novel, Jean-Felix finds the diary lodged in one of Alicia’s painting. The final part of the diary reveals that Gabriel was having an affair with Theo’s wife, Kathy. It also describes Theo going to Gabriel’s house and tying up Alicia, and forcing him to choose between either saving his life or that of his wife. When Gabriel chooses his own life, Theo unties Alicia and leaves her with the gun that she ultimately used to kill her husband. Jean-Felix presents the diary to the police, who make a house call to Theo while he is at home.  

Analysis

This section marks the conclusion of the author’s narration. In it, the author reveals the true character of Theo. This is achieved by the emerging contrast between Alicia’s and Theo’s narration. Alicia’s diary proves that Theo was just as guilty of Gabriel’s murder, while in Theo’s narration he blames Alicia’s unstable mental health for the murder. This proves that he was narcissistic. As the antagonist in the novel, Theo is revealed as the character responsible for all of Alicia’s misfortunes. He is, however, regretful and hopes that he can redeem himself by assisting Alicia to get better. But he did not expect that his actions would push Alicia over the edge of her own sanity.

Ultimately, Theo’s intentions are outweighed by his own self-preservation, where he only works at the Grove to rid of any evidence that could possibly incriminate him. This includes Alicia, whom Theo injects with a lethal dose of morphine, and her diary which contains her confession. In the end, the devious acts by Theo catches up with him when the police inspector is handed Alicia’s diary by Jean-Felix.

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