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The word "Would" has been used in text below three times.(The cases I bolded them) The first one is:

1. But however I chose to remember it, that event would change everything.

Could you please tell me if it has been used in "imagined situation" or not?

The second and third ones are:

2. The words of the second entry would not obscure the words of the first.
3. Both would remain, my memories set down alongside his.

Could you please explain to me if they refer to the past tense or present tense?

There was a message from Shawn. An apology. But he’d apologized already, in my room. I had never known Shawn to apologize twice.

I retrieved my journal and I wrote another entry, opposite the first, in which I revised the memory. It was a misunderstanding, I wrote. If I’d asked him to stop, he would have.

But however I chose to remember it, that event would change everything. Reflecting on it now I’m amazed by it, not by what happened, but that I wrote what happened. That from somewhere inside that brittle shell—in that girl made vacant by the fiction of invincibility—there was a spark left.

The words of the second entry would not obscure the words of the first. Both would remain, my memories set down alongside his. There was a boldness in not editing for consistency, in not ripping out either the one page or the other. To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both. It is a frailty, but in this frailty there is a strength: the conviction to live in your own mind, and not in someone else’s. I have often wondered if the most powerful words I wrote that night came not from anger or rage, but from doubt: I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Educated by Tara Westover

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Unlike the first would in the paragraph (If I'd asked him to stop he would have), which you do not ask about, these three are all simple pasts of will—they lie in the 'future' of the past time where the narrative is currently located. The narrator is telling us about facts which became evident before the 'present' in which she writes the story but after the time when she wrote the new journal entry.

As the doubts she expresses in the last few sentences suggest, this is a very complicated temporal relationship: it's unclear to the reader and to the narrator whether she realized at the time she wrote the journal entry that these future events/states were going to change, not obscure, remain.

  • I edited the question simultaneously. – Peace Jun 1 '18 at 16:50
  • Could you please tel me if the writer could write "But however I chose to remember it, that event changed everything" instead of "But however I chose to remember it, that event would change everything." Is there any difference semantically? – Peace Jun 1 '18 at 17:28
  • In the version with 'would', the event remains hypothetical -- it may or may not have actually occurred. Combining it with a memory (which we assume records actual events) is a bit odd, although you postulated a choice of memories (which gets us back into hypotheticals). – amI Jun 1 '18 at 19:30
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    @Peace The difference is that the version with would tells us that the change occurred, or at least became evident, sometime after Reference Time--the time the narrator is speaking of, when she wrote the entry. The version without it does not imply a later occurrence, and it implicates (but does not entail) that the the change was effected at the time of the event. – StoneyB Jun 1 '18 at 19:54
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    @amI Ah, I see. But even in that case, the however states that all the alternate worlds are reconverged and have the same outcome. – StoneyB Jun 1 '18 at 20:18

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