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Themes

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 life too. He maintains a relationship with his dead mother. He meets his unborn daughter for the first time in his future. Past, present, and future are all one reality for him. On the contrary, reality for Clare only exists in the present, because her life and consciousness are bound by chronological time. Yet, when Clare meets Henry in his present, she has known him all her life, whereas in his reality, she's a complete stranger.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Henry's colleague Matt compares Henry to "Clark Kent" and Clare to "Lois Lane," but then says that being like Superman would be more interesting because Lois Lane doesn't know his true identity. What would Henry and Clare's relationship be like if he never told her his secret?
  2. Henry confirms to Dr. Kendrick that the older you get, the more you escape. Why might that be?
  3. At some point in the story, Clare tells Henry that adopting a child would be "faking." What does she mean by that? Do you agree with her?
  4. Do you think that other realities exist alongside the one we live in?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the past, present, and future, all at the same time?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
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