The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
How we cite our quotes:
My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,507. (3.1)
This is how Christopher introduces himself. The way he says this, it's almost as if the things he knows are as important as his name, like they're part of his identity. Imagine if he wrote himself some business cards – they would have his name, his phone number, and all his most impressive factoids.
Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them. (19.7)
Well, Christopher might think that prime numbers are like life, but we think they're like Christopher: unique, indivisible, a little unpredictable, and very mysterious.
Mother used to say that it meant Christopher was a nice name because it was a story about being kind and helpful, but I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean me. (29.10)
This is an interesting passage. We might expect it to express Christopher's desire for uniqueness and individuality, but he doesn't actually seem too concerned with that at all. So, what else is going on here? One thing we can point out is how completely he disregards the story as being "kind and helpful," as if he can't connect with that sort of thing at all. But his real problem seems to be the notion that the name Christopher can stand for multiple things: that story, being kind and helpful, and he himself. He wants words to mean one thing and only thing only.