OK, Christopher. I am going to say this for the last and final time. I will not tell you again…You are to stop this ridiculous bloody detective game right now.
Ed Boone adamantly declares that he does not want Christopher to investigate who killed the dog Wellington. Readers learn later he takes this stance to conceal his involvement. Ed Boone’s reaction to Christopher’s inquiry reveals he struggles to contain his anger, which often erupts on Christopher. Ed Boone makes his son promise not to investigate any further, and Christopher agrees, knowing that if he doesn’t keep his promise, he will be essentially lying.
And Father said, “Christopher, do you understand that I love you?”
Ed Boone knows that he struggles with his temper with Christopher and this knowledge weighs on him. After apologizing for hitting Christopher, Ed Boone asks him a question he often asks as Christopher’s neurological condition makes it difficult for Christopher to understand others’ emotions. Throughout the book, Ed struggles with his love for Christopher and his ability to cope with his emotions caring for his son.
I did it for your good, Christopher.
Having been caught in a devastating lie, Ed Boone explains his actions to his son. Ed Boone had misrepresented his wife’s abandonment of the family to Christopher as his mother’s death. At first, he claims he lied to protect Christopher, and then says lying happened by “accident.” Ed struggles to communicate clearly with Christopher, revealing a conflicted nature and sense of honesty.
I killed Wellington, Christopher.
Ed Boone clearly and bluntly admits to Christopher that he killed the dog Wellington. The earlier revelation of his lie about Christopher’s mother already severely damaged their relationship, with Christopher refusing to speak to his father after learning of the egregious deception. In an attempt to make amends, Ed Boone now reveals to Christopher that he killed Wellington. In a rare instance, Ed makes a direct, clear, and truthful statement to his son.
I think she cared more for that bloody dog than for me, for us.
Ed Boone reveals his resentment toward his wife whom he believes cares more for Wellington the dog than him or Christopher. Up until this point, readers know of Christopher’s mother’s infidelity to her husband, but now readers wonder about Christopher’s father’s fidelity, too. As he desperately tries to explain to his son why he killed Wellington, the reader gets a glimpse into the emotional vulnerability Ed felt from his wife’s betrayal, and how he turned to Mrs. Shears for comfort.
We all make mistakes, Christopher.
Ed Boone admits defeat to Christopher. Ed knows that he caused potentially irrevocable damage to his son’s trust and tries to get Christopher to understand that his actions arose from love and human frailty, not evil deception. But to Christopher, mistakes and human frailty can be avoided, especially through logic. Ed Boone’s excuse might not be enough to win back his son’s trust.
I’m very proud of you, Christopher.
In the closing chapters of the book, Christopher still feels fearful of his father. Ed Boone congratulates Christopher on his passing the A-level exam, but Christopher doesn’t feel reassured. Readers note that Christopher needs his mother’s company to be in the same room as his father. Ed Boone continues throughout the story to regain Christopher’s trust.
I’ll do you a deal.
When Christopher refuses to speak to Ed Boone, he offers Christopher a deal: Talk to him until the kitchen timer set to five minutes goes off, and the conversation ends. Ed Boone uses this clear approach in the hopes of getting Christopher to end his silence. Ed Boone persistently works to reestablish his relationship with Christopher, no matter what kinds of clever ways he must come up with to do it, an effort revealing his genuine love and desire to make things better between the two.
Then Father said, “Christopher, I would never, ever do anything to hurt you.”
As Ed Boone works to reestablish trust with his son, his words ring both true and false. Ed Boone would never do anything to deliberately hurt his son, yet he hurt him in the deepest way possible by lying about Christopher’s mother’s death. The reader sees the difficulty in Ed Boone’s position, being the extremely devoted father of son with a neurological disorder.
And Father said, No. You can decide what to call him.
In an attempt to connect with Christopher, Ed Boone tells him he can name the new dog after his pet rat dies. This passage highlights one of the book’s major themes—Christopher’s journey to independence. Readers note that Ed Boone finally recognizes the importance of letting Christopher make decisions for himself and understands this might be the key to reestablishing trust.