An Abundance of Katherines


John Green

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Themes and Colors
Achievement and Mortality Theme Icon
Self-Actualization Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Plans, Change, and Growth Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in An Abundance of Katherines, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Achievement and Mortality

Colin Singleton has recently graduated high school when the novel starts. For most young adults, high school graduation is a moment of triumph, a step toward becoming who they want to be. But for Colin, who learned to read at two years old and has long been considered — by his parents, by himself, and by others — to be a child prodigy, the step into adulthood that is a part of graduation thrusts him…

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Colin is preoccupied throughout the novel with who he is if he is too old to be a child prodigy. He becomes invested in coming up with an original Theorem to predict the course of any given romantic relationship; he believes that doing so will make him a genius, which is a title similar to “prodigy” but available to adults. While Colin must work to redefine how he thinks of his intelligence, this process has…

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Throughout the novel, Colin and Lindsey are both preoccupied with storytelling. Colin, however, doesn’t initially realize it. Colin conceives of the Theorem — the mathematical algorithm he is attempting to create — as being a kind of precision oracle that can predict the future of any future romance. When he first tells Lindsey about the Theorem, however, she responds that math is an interesting way to tell a story. Further, Lindsey often chides Colin for…

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Plans, Change, and Growth

The main characters of the novel all have their lives well-planned by their parents. Colin’s parents plan for him to get through school quickly and then achieve great and “special” things. Hassan’s parents plan for him to go to college. Hollis plans for Lindsey to get out of Gutshot, leaving her boyfriend, TOC, behind. As each of these characters grow up over the course of the novel, they are forced to grapple…

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Romantic Love

Colin Singleton, who has dated nineteen girls named Katherine, appears to be highly experienced at romance. However, even he cannot deny that he must have some sort of complex if every one of his girlfriends has had the same name. Although the novel is called An Abundance of Katherines, it is really about one of the first times in Colin’s life since the age of eight that he has not had any Katherines…

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