The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife Theme of 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 chronologically. For Henry, past, present, and future happen in the same time, while Clare only experiences time in the present. When she waits for Henry, time seems to move more slowly. When he's with her, it seems to proceeds much faster.
Questions About Time
- Occasionally, the many time jumps in the story can leave the reader with a sense of disorientation. Do you think that this structure is effective in telling the story?
- In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of time travel?
- Henry uses time to his advantage twice. He rigs the Illinois Lottery and he provides Dr. Kendrick with the date of his unborn son's birth. Do you think that Henry's actions are justified?
- Henry makes a rule of not telling people their future. How might the world change if everyone knew his or her future?
- Henry seems to be more perceptive than others of the cultural changes over time, such as with music, clothing, etc. Why would that be an important tool of survival for him?