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.
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.
...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)
...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)
...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)
...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)