What is the theme of The Graveyard Book?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One of the themes of the book is the importance of the community in raising children. As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child; but here, it takes a whole graveyard. The inhabitants of the graveyard effectively raise the orphaned Bod, teaching the young waif valuable lessons and imparting valuable advice that will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life.

In the development of this theme, we can see another example of Gaiman's originality. Normally, one would expect to see ghosts and spirits in a graveyard treated as if they were scary, frightening monsters. No adult would want to hang around them, let alone a young child. And yet here, they're presented to us in an altogether more sympathetic light, as members of a thriving community with its own rules, standards, and codes of behavior.

Not only that, but the denizens of the graveyard are also welcoming to Bod in a way that one wouldn't expect. They generously allow him to enter their world and be part of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 879 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team