Chapter Summaries
Chapter 2

Christopher is outside at seven after midnight when he sees Wellington, Mrs. Shears' dog, dead in the middle of the lawn. A garden fork is sticking out of the black poodle and Christopher goes through the Shears gate to kneel beside the dog. Wellington's muzzle is still warm and he wonders who killed him.

Notes - What Christopher is doing out in the middle of the night is explained in the following chapter, where we discover he enjoys the idea of being the only person in the world.

Chapter 3

Christopher introduces himself, mentioning also that he knows all the countries of the world and their capitals, as well as very prime number up to 7,057. Eight years ago, Siobhan used simple pictures of faces to indicate sad - which he feels now for Wellington - and happy, which is when he walks around in the middle of night and feels like the only person in the world.

Siobhan tried to show him other faces with more complex emotions and Christopher tried to use them when he didn't understand what people were saying. He told Siobhan this, who was amused. He tore up the paper and Siobhan apologized; now, when Christopher doesn't know what someone is saying, he asks what they mean or walks away.

Notes - The use of ideograms - basic visual images - begins in this chapter, with a variety of faces. Visual iconography is a key part of this novel, further emphasizing the limitations of language.

Chapter 5

Christopher pulls the fork out of Wellington and hugs the dead dog's body. He likes dogs because they have only four moods, are faithful, and tell no lies since they cannot talk. After four minutes, he hears Mrs. Shears screaming and running towards him from the patio. She wants to know what Christopher is doing with dog and demands he lets go. Scared of people shouting and touching him, Christopher backs away. Mrs. Shears checks on the dog's body and stars screaming again, so Christopher covers his ears and closes his eyes and rolls forward, until he's hunched up against the grass.

Notes - Describing how he rolls himself into a ball and blocks out the world around him, Christopher concludes, "It was nice." This shows how he is so sensitive to outside stimuli that being able to limit it is not only important, but also pleasurable.

Cite this page:

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