The Graveyard Book

Linda Purdue

Theme of the Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book's theme is growing up to tackle a childhood problem. For Bod, his problem is not being allowed to be a part of the living world. The only way he may leave is when he proves he is grown up. As the novel progresses, Bod grows up in what he says and does. Finally, at the end of the book he proves he is grown and ready to leave the graveyard to take on the living world.
Bod convinces Silas to allow him to attend school in the outside world (pg. 181). This is showing how much Bod has grown up. The agreement in the graveyard about Bod leaving was when he was grown up. Bod was allowed to leave, meaning that he is growing up and is going to tackle his problem of not being allowed to go to to the living world.
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"If I come back, it will be a place, but it won't be home any longer (pg. 304)." Bod says this his last night at the graveyard. He says this because he is finally ready to leave the graveyard. Bod knows he is grown up and can now go on to tackle the world.
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"But between now and then, there was Life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and his heart wide open (pg. 307)." The theme and the whole novel have been leading to this point. Bod has reached the point of maturity to leave the graveyard. He is ready to participate in the world do the living.
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Modern Connection

Shabana Basij-Rasik represents the book's theme perfectly. She grew up sneaking to school and fearing she would be caught. This year, she has formed her own college in Kabul, Afghanistan. Shabana saw the hunger for schooling, and she decided to do something about it. Shabana returned to Afghanistan after going to college in America and started her school.
Throughout the novel, we see Bod growing up so that he can join the living world. Shabana is just like Bod. She grows up to help with her childhood problem: lack of schooling in Afghanistan.
Shabana's education growing up was dangerous for her. When she grew up, she was ready to tackle the dangers of teaching women in Afghanistan. She and Bod are similar in this aspect. This is because Bod was in danger if he went to the living world. Now that Bod has grown up, he is ready to be a part of the living world.

The Graveyard Book's Theme in My Life

I have seen the theme of growing up to tackle a childhood problem in my life because of my mother. When she was young, she lost her mother to multiple sclerosis. My mother grew up and is now helping to tackle this disease. Every year for the past 20 plus years, she participates in the M.S. walk and donates to the M.S. Society.
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