The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Swiss Army Knife Symbol Analysis

Swiss Army Knife Symbol Icon

Christopher carries his Swiss Army Knife everywhere he goes, often clutching it in his pocket on his journey to London. The knife makes him feel safe, because he knows that if anyone tries to attack him, he can defend himself. Thus, the knife symbolizes Christopher’s physical safety, the only kind of safety he’s aware of and the safety he constantly pursues. However, no matter how many knives he has, they can’t protect him from the psychological and emotional damage that his parents cause him and that he never manages to acknowledge to himself.

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Swiss Army Knife Symbol Timeline in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The timeline below shows where the symbol Swiss Army Knife appears in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...police station, Christopher has to empty his pockets of a number of items, including a Swiss Army Knife . The police want to take his watch, but let him keep it when he... (full context)
Chapter 67
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...strangers. This isn’t because he’s afraid of them—he can hit hard and always carries his Swiss Army Knife —but because he has trouble understanding people he doesn’t know. When there are new staff... (full context)
Chapter 167
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Christopher waits a couple of hours and then sneaks downstairs with his Swiss Army Knife . He finds Ed asleep in the living room. He brings Toby and some food... (full context)
Chapter 179
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...comes into the garden calling Christopher’s name. Christopher hides under a sack and holds his knife. He gets very frightened when his father comes near, but he remains hidden and eventually... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...has to ask a stranger how to get to the train station. He holds his knife in his pocket for safety, and asks a mother on the sidewalk where he can... (full context)
Chapter 191
Growing Up Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...him, and finds a chair to sit in. He feeds Toby and holds onto his knife while groaning. (full context)
Chapter 211
Growing Up Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...his mind until he can’t read them. He counts to fifty and holds onto his knife for safety. (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...to him and says Christopher looks lost, but he retreats when Christopher takes out his knife. Christopher goes to the information desk and asks whether he’s in London. The woman confirms... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...all the people around him are cows and walks to the escalators holding onto his knife and Toby in his pockets. He’s never seen escalators before, so he goes down the... (full context)
Chapter 227
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...him. Because she’s a stranger, he refuses her help by telling her he has a knife, so she leaves. (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...day for Christopher. Ed and Judy come into Christopher’s room, and Christopher is holding his knife. Ed apologizes for everything he’s done and tries to initiate the handshake that is their... (full context)