Identity and Finding One’s Place in Life

All individual characteristics form together one’s identity. It is not only about our appearance but also about the way we interact with other individuals. By valuating one’s surroundings, one decides how to live and thus, finds one’s place in life.

“My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries in the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,507.” (6,1)                                                   This is the very first piece of information we get about Christopher when reading the book. He introduces himself to us with what he seems to consider the most important facts about him. By telling us that he can recall every country and its capital city, we can already guess that knowledge is a very important part of his life and thus, of his Identity. Moreover we can see Mathematics are essential for him because they follow a specific order. This is confirmed on page eleven, when Christopher describes the police as something having a specific order and purpose, which he appreciates. For Christopher, everything that does not have a clear structure is hard to understand.  This is also the reason why Christopher cannot recognize facial expressions. As a result, he is not interested in faces at all  (88,6). Thinking about a person, the first thing that will come to your mind will probably be the face, obviously Christopher has a different perception of the world  so that we have to ask ourselves what other people mean to him. By stating “I want my name to mean me.” (23,21), we can clearly see that Christopher cares about his name. He cannot accept the thought of his name having multiple meanings, which seems to indicate that he feels unique. Christopher often dreams that a virus transmitted by facial expressions kills everyone on earth except for people like him (233,1). One could assume that he feels lonely, but actually the opposite is the case. If he could decide, he would rather be alone.

His book “The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time” deals with Christopher finding his place in life. When his mother dies, his father is the only one left to take care of him. We see how deep their relationship is when Christopher describes that his father is the only one who may show affection. “[…] I do not like hugging people, so we do this instead, and it means that he loves me.” (24,13). This changes dramatically when Christopher finds a box full of letters from his mother in his father’s room while Christopher is investigating the murder of the dog Wellington. Apparently, his mother is not dead, so his father must have lied to him. Offended by this deception, he cannot trust his father anymore and decides to leave (“[…]I´m frightened of being in one house with him” (161,16)). In the following, we witness his journey, which eventually leads him back to Swindon with his mother. Back there, he is confident and happy and finally finds his place in life.

 

 

 

 

 

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