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5 things that show how Christopher enables the people in his life to live with fewer...

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janeperks | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2009 at 5:21 AM via web

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5 things that show how Christopher enables the people in his life to live with fewer defenses and less repression and anxiety.

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 12, 2010 at 2:24 AM (Answer #1)

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As Christopher is the most strung-out and high-tensioned character in the book (because of Aspergers' Syndrome), he is hardly in a position to teach others the "zen attitude."

However, Christopher does manage to breach the limits of his psychological problems by venturing beyond the bubble of his known world.  The best example is how he managed to take a train from Swindon to find his mother, whom he had presumed dead. His efforts to find her are not just a search for his long-lost parent but reflect a quest of self-identity. By taking his destiny in his own hands, Christopher defies his limitations and gains confidence in himself by taking on challenges and finding solutions to problems.

The ironic twist to the denouement of this adventure is that not only does Christopher find his mother, but he "rediscovers" his father as well. Or rather his father, thanks to Christopher, is the one who gets back in contact with his son and with himself since he no longer has to live out the lie he has created. In the end Christopher reestablishes good contact with both parents and learns forgiveness as well. (Incidentally, he passes his math exams and has great amibitions for his future, finishing off the story on a positive note.) In short, he learns to have faith in people, as imperfect as they are, and to believe in himself.

Christopher's interaction with the other characters in this book, even his teacher, are secondary. The real "miracle" is this: Christopher's parents, especially his father, learn to be more honest and straightforward and to "connect" with their son in a way that they hadn't been able to do before.

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