I think the main theme in this story is attention. Nick is different and he feels overlooked, and that is not a nice feeling to have. Everyone needs to be noticed and get attention, and if you are living a life with no attention, this story is showing us what people are willing to do to get a glimpse of it – in this case; risk their own lives.
Nick is willing to give up his life to gain the attention, because ever since Thomas “took” his mother away from him, he has felt lonely, and therefore tried to get noticed in some crazy and wild ways.
Another theme I have found important is upbringing. We sometimes hear about children, who have been left alone as a child and got no attention, and then we hear about the damaging effect it has had on their further lives. However, too much attention might just be equally able to effectively ruin the life of a person. This is the situation in “Back to front”. Nick was raised with love, care and attention. His mother, Grace, loved him from the moment he was born, and she was a very pernickety mother: “Nevertheless, every day she counted his fingers and his toes just to make sure. Ten. Ten. She was a pernickety mother.” (P. 1, L. 35)
After Grace married Thomas; Nick does not get the same dose of attention and love as before.
Characterization of Nick:
Nick is different. He is back to front. All his organs are in the opposite site of where they should be. With this special disease, he is used to being treated like a marvel, but suddenly he is a nil – he is being ignored at school.
Nick is this attention-demanding person and he has always used his inverted internal anatomy to get noticed. From being in centre of attention to feeling lonely and unseen, is very hard for Nick to understand, so when the doctor (after Nick’s death) thinks that: “Nick was special” (P. 3, L. 127-128) and “He’d never seen anything quite like Nick before” (P. 3, L. 126-127) it is sad that Nick was not alive to hear the doctor say that...