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

The Time Traveler's Wife Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

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 i...

Time

The relationship between Clare and Henry shows that time is subject to individual perception. As a time traveler, Henry jumps back and forth from the past to the future, while Clare lives solely ch...

Fate vs. Free Will

The Time Traveler's Wife explores determinism (the idea that your life is already pre-determined) versus free will (the idea that your choices can influence and alter your future). Although time tr...

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 –...

Sex

Sex in The Time Traveler's Wife represents a physical connection essential to the intimacy of the characters. Sex helps Henry stay in the present, because he feels closer to Clare. For Clare, sex w...

Marriage

The Time Traveler's Wife dramatizes some of the obstacles of married life and extols compromise as the key to a happy union. Clare and Henry face obstacles that neither of them can control nor pred...

Versions of Reality

The Time Traveler's Wife reveals reality to be subjective and rather influenced by the characters' emotions. For Henry, the people of his future and his past are very much a part of his present lif...

Memory and the Past

The Time Traveler's Wife explores the way in which we experience memory, and how those memories can then affect our present lives. When Clare meets Henry in the present, she struggles with the fact...

Identity

How can you find a strong identity when you keep jumping back and forth in time? The Time Traveler's Wife examines that question with the character of Henry – because Henry doesn't live in co...

Mortality

The Time Traveler's Wife explores the many ways in which death can impact the lives of those close to the deceased. Some characters in this particular account continue to live as they come to accep...

Need help with College?