The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife Theme of Love
In The Time Traveler's Wife, the love between Henry and Clare is expressed in a variety of ways: in Henry and Clare's physical love-making, in Clare's longing and waiting for Henry to return, and in the sacrifices they both make so their difficult relationship can work. In Henry and Clare's universe, love is a huge virtue. It overcomes all obstacles and even surpasses death.
Questions About Love
- When Gomez warns Clare to stay away from Henry, she says that she has no choice because she's in love with him. So does love take away your free will?
- Clare puts up with a lot in order to be married to Henry. Niffenegger says that due to her own failed relationships, she wanted to create her ideal love. Would you describe Henry and Clare's love as ideal?
- Clare sleeps with Gomez twice: once before she meets Henry in the present and once after his death. Would you consider her actions to be cheating or not?
- Clare fell in love with 43-year-old Henry. Do you think that's the Henry she truly loves, or do you believe she loves his other versions just as much?
- Do you think love is contingent on age? Henry and Clare's love is different when she's a six-year-old girl to when she meets him to when she's married to him. In what way does her love grow and change?
- Both Clare and Henry suffer from a lack of love from their parents. How do those troubled relationships at home trouble their lives beyond it?