The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
How we cite our quotes:
Then, when I've got a degree in Maths, or Physics, or Maths and Physics, I will be able to get a job and earn lots of money and I will be able to pay someone who can look after me and cook my meals and wash my clothes, or I will get a lady to marry me and be my wife and she can look after me so I can have company and not be on my own. (71.8)
Imagine equating a maid with a wife! Christopher doesn't make any distinction between the two. Either he doesn't understand romantic love, or he's a big Neil Young fan.
Sometimes Father would say, "Christopher, if you do not behave I swear I shall knock the living daylights out of you," or Mother would say, "Jesus, Christopher, I am seriously considering putting you into a home," or Mother would say, "You are going to drive me into an early grave." (73.4)
Okay, we admit – love is pretty complicated. If Christopher has heard these things from the two people in the world who love him most, it has to be difficult to get a handle on just what it means to love someone.
And Father said, "Christopher, do you understand that I love you?"
And I said, "Yes," because loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth [...]" (137.9-10)
Is this love? Yes, we know that's a Bob Marley song too, actually. But seriously, what is it? Is it these things? What else might it be? Doesn't it sound as if Christopher was once given a list of things that represent loving someone? Does that work, or is love something we have to just spontaneously know?