The Curious

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1“And when I was asleep I had one of my favorite dreams… And in the dream nearly everyone on the earth is dead…”

In Chapter 229, having made the difficult trip to London and found his mother, Christopher has what he calls one of his “favorite” dreams. Since the dream is Christopher’s fantasy, the fact that he identifies this dream as a favorite implies that it fulfills some of his deepest wishes. First, without anyone else around, Christopher would not have to have any social interactions, which he finds confusing and uncomfortable. He would also not have to deal with crowds, which frighten him, and no one would touch him, which he also greatly dislikes. Significantly, the only people left alive in the dream are people who Christopher says are like him, meaning people with the same condition. If only people with the same condition remained alive, Christopher would be a typical person, rather than an atypical person as he currently is, revealing Christopher’s strong desire to no longer feel like an outsider.

Moreover, Christopher likes this dream because if everyone on the earth were dead, he would no longer have any authority figures telling him how to live. Throughout the novel, Christopher has rebelled against his father’s authority and displayed a growing desire for independence, culminating in his journey alone to London. Notably, Christopher does not feel sad his father is dead in the dream—he even appears to enjoy living without his father—and no other authority figure, such as his mother, replaces his father, meaning Christopher must take care of himself. These details reveal Christopher’s developing sense of maturity, and they lead us to infer that the dream is also a favorite because it fulfills Christopher’s wish to live as an adult, making his own decisions and caring for himself.

2“I think I would make a very good astronaut. To be a good astronaut you have to be intelligent and I’m intelligent. You also have to understand how machines...
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