Symbols

Christopher makes several symbolic references to Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Christopher feels he can relate to Sherlock Holmes, whose behavior is not socially conventional but who is highly logical, intelligent, and observant, and who has “the power of detaching his mind at will.” (p. 92). Christopher’s connection to Sherlock Holmes is important because he usually finds it very difficult to relate to other people or to empathize with them. 

Christopher often relies on math and logic puzzles when he gets confused or frightened. For him, they symbolize part of the world that he can understand and that he’s good at. When he is stressed, he tries to solve puzzles in his head. For example, when he is feeling overwhelmed at Swindon station, he calms himself ...

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