Curious Incident: Chapter 233
In the morning, Christopher’s mother tells him he can stay, although Mr. Shears is not happy about it. Mother takes the day off work and they go shopping for some clothes for Christopher.
Christopher tells his mother that he has to go back to Swindon the following week to take his math A-level exam. He wants his mother to go with him so he does not have to deal with his father.
Christopher decides in the middle of the night to go for a walk outside. His mother finds him some time later and is very upset. She makes him promise not to go outside on his own again because London is dangerous.
Mother loses her job. She calls Christopher’s school and arranges that Christopher will take the A-level the following year. Christopher is unhappy at this postponement.
Mother’s relationship with Mr. Shears deteriorates, and she decides to drive Christopher back home to Swindon, borrowing Mr. Shears’s car. They go into the house before Christopher’s father gets back from work. When he does return there is an argument. Christopher hides out in his room. After Father leaves, Mother tells Christopher they would get a place to live in the next few weeks, just the two of them. Christopher insists that he wants to take his A-level the next day.
The next day, Mother takes Christopher to school, where Siobhan tells him that he can still take his A-level exam. He takes the first of three parts that afternoon, and the second part the following day.
That evening Mr. Shears arrives in a taxi and throws Christopher’s mother’s belongings on to the front lawn. He drives off in his own car.
The next day Christopher take the third part of the exam. That evening, his father comes to the house. Christopher now fears his father, but Father does his best to be reconciled with him, asking him how the exam was.
Mother gets a job as a cashier in a garden center and rents a room in a big house for herself and Christopher. Christopher helps her paint it. Christopher refuses to talk to his father, but his father makes a big effort to regain his son’s trust. He also gives him a two-month old golden retriever. His father will look after the dog but Christopher can come and take him for walks whenever he wants to.
Christopher gets the results of his A-level exam. He has passed, with a grade of A. His mother gets flu and Christopher has to stay for three days with his father, but it appears that they are reconciled. Christopher plans to take Further Maths for A level in one year’s time. The following year he plans to take an A level in physics. After that he plans to go to a university in another town and eventually become a scientist.
The concluding chapter is the longest in the book, and the most hopeful, in terms of Christopher’s life and what he is able to accomplish. It covers a lot of ground, starting with Christopher trying to settle down in what is clearly a very awkward situation, living with his mother and Mr. Shears in a London apartment. Christopher is actually frightened of Mr. Shears, andthere are more arguments that he has to listen to. When his mother and Mr. Shears argue, Christopher turns the volume up on a radio and holds it to his ear so he can block out the conflict. After his mother leaves Mr. Shears, and she and Christopher return to Swindon, he is exposed to another argument, this time between his mother and father. In spite of it all, however, Christopher achieves his goal of taking and passing his math A level. He has adjusted well to the challenges life has thrown him, and has also reconciled with his father. He is emerging from this dysfunctional family with his hope and ambition intact, although in spite of what might be called a happy ending, the reader is probably under no illusions about how difficult life will continue to be for this boy who by his very nature lives in a world of his own, cut off from the normal flow of human emotions and feelings.