The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife Theme of Family

The main characters in The Time Traveler's Wife maintain a closer relationship with friends than with their own families. Both Henry and Clare were raised by women other than their mothers – while Henry grew up under Mrs. Kim's supervision, Clare received the most guidance and love from Etta, the family housekeeper. Both Henry and Clare's relationships with their blood-relatives are strained, which wears on them emotionally.

Questions About Family

  1. Henry often visits his parents when they're young. Would you want to meet your parents when they were young? How could that affect your own life?
  2. How are Clare and Henry are influenced by their relationship with their families?
  3. Clare and Henry's families are very different. What do you consider to be the main differences between them?
  4. Henry describes Clare's family as "an advertisement for the bourgeoisie." Do you agree, and why or why not?
  5. What does the story say about blood-related family versus such friends as Kimy, Gomez, and Charisse?

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