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December 31, 2016/ Free Online/ 0 comments

Eton Lin
Block: 1-1
Yes, I think the protagonist could be considered an ???autistic savant.??? He is autistic in his inability to relate satisfactorily to other humans, but he is also a savant in some aspects of life and learning and shows himself to be comfortable, knowledgeable, and wise in dealing with these aspects.

The reader sees at once that the protagonist relates poorly to other humans. The protagonist does not understand the body language of other humans, or their usage of metaphor. When his mother dies, he does not have any feelings of sadness, but remains emotionless. People are a mystery to him. In Chapter 29, he admits, ???I find people confusing.??? This confusion, however, does not extend to his relations with animals. In Chapter 5, when he discovers that a dog is dead, he pulls the fork which has killed the dog out of his body and lifts the animal into his arms and hugs him for four full minutes. ???I like dogs,??? he explains. ???You always know what a dog is thinking.???(Page 3-4)

The protagonist is wise also in the processes of mathematics. Prime numbers are not something that people generally think or care about. However, in Chapter 19, the protagonist states, ???I think prime numbers are like life.??? He knows every prime number up to 7057 and is immensely interested in the influence numbers appear to have in practical life. In Chapter 44, he discovers the theory that names of famous people often coincide with prime numbers when numerically correlated by letter (a to 1, b to 2, z to 26). For example, the name Jesus Christ corresponds with the prime number 151, Sherlock Holmes with 163, and Doctor Watson with 167. The protagonist focuses on aspects of mathematics that people don??™t normally think about, but he is also knowledgeable about math as a whole and is the first student in his school to achieve an ???A??? level in math.

This last achievement qualifies him to judge others academically. In Chapter 71, he says that ???all the other children at [his] school are stupid.??? He sees all the other students as having special needs because of their difficulties in learning. Whatever you think of the limitations of his viewpoint, in mathematics, he is clearly a savant, clearly smarter than his classmates.

For these reasons, I think the protagonist could be considered an ???autistic savant.??? While he is not skilled in human interaction, he is wise in the ways of animals. In addition, he displays specialized, academic talent and has focused, if eccentric, interests.

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