"It's really pretty straightforward: flight is freedom."
page 128 of Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor
I read this chapter after finishing The Time Traveler's Wife, so I couldn't help but to relate this quote back to the angel wings Clare made for Henry towards the end of the novel. This seemed to be symbolic of freedom on so many levels. First and foremost, there is the most obvious connection: wings equal flight, which equals freedom. Henry even comments that he feels free during this scene. Another surface connection is that he no longer has feet. Running used to help him gain a sense of freedom. Since he can't run, he is more or less trapped. He can't actually fly with these wings, but the intended meaning is still behind them. Flying would be an alternative to running. I didn't even think about the other symbolic possibility with the wings and freedom until after reading this chapter in Foster. Angels are associated with the afterlife, at least in part, as they are believed to be messengers from heaven. This scene in the novel takes place after Henry already knows he is going to die--in fact, it's only a matter of months prior to it. Foster wrote about the idea of souls in flight. Henry is trapped by his condition--the CDP more so than the amputation, since he does have a wheel chair. The only true way he can be free of this condition is death. It seems that the wings Clare made allude to this.