The curious incident of the dog in the night time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The curious incident of the dog in the night time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 789

  • Pages: 3

The curious incident of the dog in the night time

In the novel ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night time’, we meet an interesting child who goes by the name of Christopher and see he suffers from Aspberger’s Syndrome. As Christopher progresses through the novel we struggle with the thought of the possibility of a traditional hero being displayed by Christopher’s actions; by Joseph Campbell’s guidelines. In retrospect, Christopher has the tendency to portray significant aspects in which allows him to meet the “Traditional Hero” persona. When the novel begins Christopher’s Heroic journey takes flight, when he encounters the dead body of Wellington (a black poodle) in the back yard of Mrs. Shears.

This situation encourages Christopher to answer the call to adventure in a sense to write a ‘Murder mystery Novel’ of the death of Wellington; like he says, “I stroked Wellington and wondered who had killed him and why.”(2) With the help of his teacher Siobhan he began his journey out of the Innocent world of childhood, and by doing so throughout the novel he begins to realize there is a much bigger world outside than he may be prepared for.

This of course poses as a reason at first for Christopher to refuse his call to adventure, as Christopher makes it clear that social and physical interaction nearly impossible by not being able to be hugged by his father let alone understand metaphors. The only true bond he shares is with his pet rat Toby, who he takes as a companion on his quest to solve every mystery tossed his way.

While Christopher is solving the mystery of Wellington’s killer his father becomes a key threshold against the success of achieving his sought out goal. With good reasons Christopher’s father tries to constantly instigate that Christopher ‘keep his nose out of other people’s business.’ But eventually fails at keeping the boy at bay and his son finds out that his father was the killer of Wellington, and has been lying to him about the death of his mother. When earlier in the novel his father said, “She died of a heart attack and it wasn’t expected.”(27) In light of all this information Christopher figures, ‘if he could lie and kill a dog then he could kill me.’

This gives Christopher the strength to cross the first threshold in his heroic journey; in search for his now living mother, which leads to a road of trials. With the motivation to find his mother and live with her, Christopher must enter the belly of the whale to reach her. By doing so he has to leave his home in which he truly loves and felt safe in and ventured in to an unknown territory. This of course is frightening to him because as he says in the novel, “When I am in a new place and there are lots of people there it is like a computer crashing and I have to close my eyes and put my hands over my ears and groan,” (143) Which almost immediately happens once he enters the train station to head to London to find his mother’s house.

This also could be considered a new Threshold with the combination of Threshold guardians because he is constantly being chased by the police to get him back to his father in whom he fears. But he showed a great Refusal to return by tricking and dodging his captors (the police) and pushed onwards to the “meeting with the goddess”, his mother. In the end though everything doesn’t really work out as Christopher thought would.

His mom seems to be very incapable of supporting him with her current lifestyle in London, and as soon as they were reunited situations occurred that forced Christopher to reunite with his father, unwillingly. Even though he refuses to go home to his father’s house he, still yearns to do his A-level maths in which he has studied for. Thus helping Christopher to cross the Threshold of fearing his father through a difficult process of regaining trust. We somewhat see that he has become the master of two worlds as long as there is a probable cause behind extending past his own comfort zone. Showing that in a unique way even someone who suffer from such a disease that makes social, physical, and psychological development difficult can be seen as a Traditional Hero.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1319

  • Pages: 5

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

How does this extract from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time introduce us to the important ideas in Haddon’s novel? Disability or being different in society can be isolating. Disability, particularly those people with behavioural differences is a topic that has only become socially acceptable as a topic of conversation in recent times. Historically, any form of disability was seen as taboo and was not considered appropriate for ‘polite’ conversation. Haddon takes on an unconventional issue in a most unconventional way throughout his novel ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’.

Not only is the novel an exploration of the effects of disabilities in a conformist society BUT he takes the responder on an expedition into the world of difference via the narrator, Christopher. Disability may negatively impact one’s ability to cope with life’s complexities. Individuals that have behavioural differences are often misjudged. Christopher is a unique character who sees the world as orderly and has very low tolerance for disorder. As his audience, we are implicitly invited by the author to observe a more complex perspective beyond Christopher’s world view.

He usually obsesses over schedules as he finds it difficult not to follow a schedule. Christopher has difficult connecting to people on an emotional level and relies heavily more on logic to understand the world. His developmental disorder is one major factor in which Christopher is an unreliable narrator as he frequently veers away from the main storyline to discuss irrelevant topics such as physics or even the rate of growth of a pond’s frog population. He regards the metaphor “The dog was stone dead” as a lie as it requires a type of thinking which Christopher is neglected from due to his disability.

He needs to map every aspect of his life as a means of fixing his place in the world to belong. The readers rely on the narrator to tell the story, but in this case, the readers gain more understanding of Christopher’s disability and his perspective of the world, making this a different and unique story. Christopher’s disability impacts his ability to notice the series of increasingly destabilizing events such as learning of his Mother’s affair and his Father’s deceptions.

An example of this is Christopher leaving Swindon to find his mother in London; he crosses through a massive urban landscape which symbolises his facing reality and all the complexities the rest of the broader world faces. Another technique that helps reinforce the complications of Christopher’s disability is the continued use of emoticons, logic puzzles, math problems and maps. These visual diagrams symbolise to Christopher the part of the world that is ordered and logical. Christopher uses these items as tools to organize his thinking, like when he uses the so-called Monty Hall problems to explain why his intuition regarding Mr. Shears has been wrong.

Christopher utilises these tools as a form of communication, whereas Haddon has placed them in order for the reader to understand his disability and be engaged in the novel, specifically when he encounters new information that has not be fully processed or when he experience a particularly confusing or disturbing event. For instance, when his thoughts become jumbled in the train station in Swindon, Christopher thinks of the visual riddle called Conway’s Soldier to pass the time.

He heavily relies on maps to navigate and achieve his goals. He specifically uses a map when he searches the neighbourhood for Wellington’s murder, again when he attempts to find the train station in Swindon, and yet again in his effort to find Mother’s apartment when he arrives in London. These visuals provide Christopher with a strategy to follow when a complicated problem arises and there are too many variables for him to reach a clear solution. His disability is further emphasised throughout the story by the use of emoticons.

Christopher explains that he has difficulty determining people’s emotions from their facial express but yet he can name each country in the world, their capitals, and every prime number up to 7. 057. Christopher is only able to identify sad faces which represented how he felt when he found Wellington dead, and the happy face, which shows how he feels when he wanders the neighbourhood at three or four in the morning. Any other emotions, he was not able to identify representing his lack of ability to understand basic emotions and his perspective of the world he lives in.

Individuals that have behavioural differences are often misjudged. Christophers’ behavioural disability makes him want a world where it is ordered and logical. He uses tools such as logic puzzles, maths problems and maps to organise his thinking. Christopher robotic like capability of learning and understanding of concepts in regards to emotion is clearly seen through the emoticons specifically the facial expressions portrayed on page 2-3 which allows the reader to understand disability in a new light.

His simplicity of understanding the two main concepts of ‘sad’ and ‘happy’ was shown through the use of the emoticons as it allowed him to visually see what they both meant. This reinforced the idea of disability that is conveyed throughout Haddon’s novel as it allowed the readers to gain a better understanding of the complications the narrator is facing. Many of the characters in the novel become irritated with Christopher at one time or another because of the difficulty they have communicating with him.

Christopher has trouble understanding metaphors, such as the dog was stone dead. He also has difficulty with nonverbal forms of communication, such as body language, facial expressions, and even the tone of someone’s voice. He tends to take statements literally and requires very specific instructions in order to follow a command. He says, for example, that when people say “Be quiet” they don’t specify how long he should be quiet for.

As a result, we often see characters struggling to make Christopher understand them since their ordinary way of speaking fails to communicate their meaning to him. These exchanges underscore how Christopher’s condition affects his social skills, and they emphasize for the reader the difference in perspective that Christopher experiences compared to the average person. Many of the motifs in the book represent either controlled order or chaotic excess, as these are the things which most concern Christopher as narrator.

Mathematics is the most common motif in the book as it helps Christopher best in understanding the world around him. Throughout the novel, there are many parts which are completely devoted to issues about maths and science which may sometimes confuse the reader with its complexity. Mathematics is a way for Haddon to show the readers Christophers’ intellectual capabilities separating him positively from society. In Christophers’ case, his autism and the limits it places on his brain makes the use of maths and sciences a more urgent coping tool than for other people.

This does not always simplify the outside world, but at least provides a mean to better grasp complexities he cannot master. In conclusion, Haddon uses a number of distinctive techniques in order for readers to gain a better understanding of disability and its complications that may impact one’s life. Not only is the novel an exploration of the effects of disabilities in a conformist society BUT he takes the responder on an expedition into the world of difference via the narrator, Christopher.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1187

  • Pages: 5

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Young children are always searching for answers, but what happens when the result makes everything more complicated? In the two books “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” two adolescent boys go on life-changing adventures that stem from an isolated traumatic experience. Along the way, both boys ultimately realize that it is worth the risk to understand the truth. In order for Christopher to understand something, he must explain it analytically because of his autism.

His articulate thoughts were comical, yet profound at the same time. “Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them. “(Haddon. ) This quote proves Christopher’s intelligence, as well as his inability to understand emotional situations. The event of finding a dead dog in the yard confused Christopher, and so he decided to solve the mystery like his favorite detective would.

During the investigation, his findings were documented in a journal that he was supposed to write in by instruction of his mentor, Siobhan. Like Christopher, Oskar was a curious little boy who was coping with the recent death of his father during the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Although also very intelligent, Oskar had a weight on his shoulders and often invented things as a method to “fix” other problems, in hopes that it would heal his own. “In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir.

Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York is in heavy boots. “(Foer. ) The thought of using sadness for advantage is quite a heavy thought for a child, and Oskar had good reason. In the beginning of the story Oskar quietly listened to messages his father left on the answering machine as the chaos in the background worsened.

After the final message-and the last he would ever hear of his father, Oskar found a key that he hoped would solve a mystery that his father had left for him. Both Christopher and Oskar had set out to find answers, but neither boy knew exactly what they had just uncovered. While searching for clues, Christopher came across letters from his deceased Mother. His father had previously told him that his mother was sick and eventually, passed away. The letters were addressed to Christopher, and the dates were marked recent. Christopher found out that his Mother was not dead at all, and there was even an address as to where she was living.

The truth soon came out, when Christopher realized his mother had left his father for the neighbor, and that is why the dog had died and why his father lied to him. His autism created more of a problem, since Christopher is unable to process the emotional effects. Although it made him sick to his stomach, he still tried his best to understand the situation. “Sometimes we get sad about things and we don’t like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t sad but we really are. (Haddon. ) Christopher was at a difficult point in his life- Trying to comprehend his families’ struggles as well as going on his own to discover the truth. Like Christopher, Oskar had set out on a quest to find the key’s origin. The significance of this was that it held the place of a last goodbye to his father. Along the way, Oskar met many people, and learned important life lessons. His efforts were explained best by this small excerpt- “I tried the key in all the doors, even though he said he didn’t recognize it. It’s not that I didn’t trust him, because I did.

It’s that at the end of my search I wanted to be able to say: I don’t know how I could have tried harder. ” (Foer. ) This shows Oskar’s determination to solve the mystery, much like that of Christopher with his efforts. The aftermath for both boys was life-changing. Although Christopher has an initial mistrust with his father, he ultimately accepted him (with the help of a gift) and moved back in. Although it is hard to distinguish, I think the reader can safely assume that Christopher knew deep down that his father was the better caretaker.

He came away from his adventure with more confidence, and it is shown by his comment toward the end of the story- “And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery…and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything. ” (Haddon. ) Christopher also got accepted into A-level math, which was his life goal at that point. By the end of the story, Christopher is reunited with his father, solves the mystery, and realizes he can do anything. Oskar’s biggest challenge is coping with the death of his Father, who was the closest person in his life.

After he finds the key’s origin, he comes clean to the shop owner, telling him everything about his dad and the voicemails. At this point, Oskar expresses his realization with the following quote- “In the end, everyone loses everyone. There was no invention to get around that” (Foer. ) Both boys came to very grown-up conclusions that proved to be difficult, and showed that the adults in the same situation handled it in a much more avoidant fashion. The innocence of Christopher and Oskar were both taken away from them by their own families.

Acceptance is a hard pill for anyone to swallow, at any age and under any circumstance. Some take it better than others- but for Christopher and Oskar, they looked at it as an adventure. Both boys found fulfillment in finding the truth, something that we as adults often overlook. Although the incidents were tragic, and even hard to face at times, both boys faced their fears with bravery and dignity. In the end, they can walk away not only knowing the answers they sought out for, but the priceless lessons of life, death, and acceptance.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 653

  • Pages: 3

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gives the reader the smallest glimpse into Christopher Boone’s life. His parents often struggle living with an autistic child, and how others react to a child with a disorder. The distance between Christopher and his parents, the community, and the people remains vast. All of these things factor into the life of a child with Asperger’s. Others with this disorder are often thought of as “little professors who can’t understand social cues.” This leaves a wide gap between people with autism and the rest of the world.

Although the word is not mentioned in the book, Christopher does suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder. This means that Christopher expresses himself in a simple and straightforward way and cannot understand common modes of signaling. For example, he says “I find people confusing. This is for two main reasons. The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words…The second main reason is that people often talk using metaphors.”(Haddon, 10) Christopher does not understand the typical “signals” that people use to communicate. For instance raising an eyebrow, which Siobhan explains to him, it can mean “I want to do sex with you” (Haddon, 11) and it can also mean, “I think that what you just said was very stupid.” (Haddon, 11)

He says himself “My name…means carrying Christ…Mother used to say that it meant Christopher was a nice name because it was a story about being kind and helpful, but I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean me.” (Haddon, 101) Christopher’s father fans out his fingers and touches Christopher “and it means that he loves me.” (Haddon, 102) Christopher’s father holds his hand in a fan because Christopher does not like being touched or hugged, which is another mystery to his Autistic disorder. It makes him feel uncomfortable and he tends to fight back, and get violent when touched. Another challenge Christopher’s parents face living with a child with Autism. Christopher’s inability to express his feelings of love and closeness in a normal way can feel alienating to his mother as well as his father. It is not that Christopher is incapable to love or be loved, it’s just that he has a hard time loving and expressing his feelings.

Christopher Boone may not come off as a smart teenager and because of his social disability people tend to think different of him. “Prime numbers is what is left when you have taken all the patterns away” (Haddon, 15) Christopher is like a prime number, difficult to identify and a something that not many understand. Like mentioned earlier, kids with Asperger’s are “little professors who can’t understand social cues.” At Christopher’s school he will start a new math class called “A level maths.” Teachers and his father are very happy with chis to be moving up and advancing so quickly.

No one will ever solve the mystery of the Asperger’s disorder and unless you are walking in Christopher’s shoes or anyone with it, you will never quite understand what is going on in their head. That is why the gap remains very wide between our world and the world of autism.

Works Cited
“Asperger’s Syndrome.” Asperger’s Syndrome. Ed. Cindy .. Little. Cindy Little, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012 Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Doubleday, 2003. Print.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1773

  • Pages: 7

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

The novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” by Mark Haddon is a very unique novel. It is unique in many ways as it’s written through the eyes of someone with Aspegers Syndrome and this condition is explored throughout the novel. The novel is about a fifteen year old boy called Christopher who has Aspegers Syndrome. This condition doesn’t allow him to understand things the way people without this condition would. The novel shoes how Christopher grows up, some of the experiences he goes through and how he copes with and understands life.

The themes in the novel are growing up, living with special needs and the most important theme family relationships. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” has a unique style in that it has been written through the eyes of a person with Aspegers. As it has been written through the eyes of a person with Aspegers it is different to most novels and reveals the writers personality. The narrator, Christopher Boone, who has Aspegers can’t understand people and has to include every detail and explain everything he says. The narrative style is written in a logical way with lists and diagrams.

Using lists and diagrams in the novel helped us understand Christopher’s condition more. As that is the way he thinks and works things out so he can comprehend them. Also as we see everything form Christopher’s point of view it conveys to us that he sees the world with perfect clarity. In part of the novel Christopher talks about how he doesn’t like metaphors. Christopher doesn’t like them because they confuse him and he doesn’t understand them. “He was the apple of her eye. ” Christopher does not understand this metaphor because he sees it as a lie.

He sees it as a lie because an apple in someone’s eye has nothing to do with liking someone. Since they have nothing to do with each other it makes Christopher forget about what they were talking about in the first place. This section adds tour understanding of Christopher’s problems because as he has Aspergers he only sees the world in black or white. Metaphors are a grey area so he can’t process them in his brain. Throughout the novel Christopher struggles to interact with other characters and finds it difficult to understand them.

For example, at the beginning of the story when the policeman is talking to Christopher he finds it difficult to interact with him. “The policeman took hold of my arm and lifted me onto my feet. I didn’t like him touching me like this and this is why I hit him. ” Since Christopher has Aspergers he doesn’t like being touched. If someone touches him he feels like he is being attacked and reacts to it. This is why he hit the policeman. Another reason why Christopher finds it difficult to interact with other people is that he can’t understand facial expressions.

As he can’t understand facial expressions he finds it hard to know what people are saying and therefore finds it difficult to interact with them. In part of the novel it explains why Christopher doesn’t ‘get’ jokes. He says “I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them. ” he doesn’t understand jokes because as he has Aspergers Syndrome he has to analyse and think everything through in a logical way before understanding what things mean. For example, “His face was drawn by the curtains were real. ” Christopher doesn’t understand this joke because after he has thought about it he realises that “drawn” has three different meanings.

This confuses Christopher and because of his condition it makes him feel like three people are talking to him at once. This helps us to understand they way he thinks and sees the world too. Due to the nature of Christopher’s condition he is unaware of the problems he causes for his parents. Since he has Aspergers it causes his parents to argue and eventually causes his mother to leave. His parents would argue because his mother couldn’t cope with Christopher’s actions. For example, one time his mother couldn’t cope was when she took him shopping.

And you crouched down on the floor and put your hands over your ears and you were in the way of everyone so I got cross…But you shouted and knocked those mixers of the shelf. ” This situation upsets her and causes a row between his parents. After a while both his parents cant cope with arguing anymore so his mum then leaves. She leaves because she believes her husband is better with Christopher and she feels inadequate to deal with him. Christopher is unaware of the problems he causes because that is just the way he thinks. This gives us a better understanding of how he thins and deals with problems to having Aspergers.

As the novel goes on the relationship between Christopher and his father change and conflict develops between them at the beginning their relationship is very positive and strong. For example, when Christopher gets taken to the police station his father shouts at the police in defence of his son. This shows that’s he cares about Christopher and that he is not angry at him fro getting taking to the police station. Also when his father sees Christopher inside the cell they both hold up their hands and their fingers touch. This s how they show that they love each other as Christopher hates to be hugged or touched.

Their relationship begins to deteriorate when his father banged his fist on the table really hard so that the plates and the cutlery jumped around. He also shouts at Christopher. This was the first time his father had lost his patience with him. Later in the novel Christopher made a huge mistake which made the relationship fall apart. His father found the book Christopher was writing and reacted by swearing at him and eventually hit him. This made their relationship hit rock bottom and Christopher began to become scared of his father.

The Christopher find out that his father had lied about is mother being dead and that he killed Wellington. After he finds out he cant trust his father anymore. This causes him to run away to find his mother. When he is at his mothers house his father comes to her house shouting and demanding to see Christopher but he doesn’t want to speak to him but their relationship wills never be the same again. As Christopher has Aspergers he is obsessed with certain things for instance, he likes everything to be in an order and good days and blacks days.

He works out if he’s having a good day or a black day from cars. If he saw three red cars it was a good day and if he saw four yellows it was black days. He also is obsessed with maths and physics because he likes them and he is very good at them. He likes so much as they only have one answer and are straightforward which helps him to understand them. In the novel Christopher explains his dream. In his dream everyone on the earth is dead except from the people who don’t understand facial expressions like Christopher. Everyone dies because they all catch a virus.

They catch the virus because of the meaning of something an infected person says and what facial expressions they do when they say it. After everyone is dead and there is only people left like Christopher, he can do whatever he wants and never see anyone as they all like being alone. The symbolic significance in the dream is that everyone who is alive is like Christopher. Therefore in the dream Christopher fits in and life is a lot easier because everyone tells the truth and no emotions are included. So they all understand each other and they are all happy.

One key scene in the novel is when Christopher finds the letters from his mother and realises she isn’t dead. When he first realised what was going on he felt sick and confused. This is the first time we can see Christopher experiencing emotional pain. He doesn’t know what to do so he just sits curled up in a ball for a long time and doesn’t speak. This scene helps us to understand Christopher’s condition as it shows us that when Christopher is confused or emotional he doesn’t speak or do anything so that he can either analyse what’s happening or to try put the subject out of his mind.

Another key scene in the novel is when Christopher talks about when people tell you what to do it normally doesn’t make sense or it’s confusing. For example, keep of the grass signs. He thinks that they should say “keep off the grass around this sign or keep of the grass in this park. ” people without Aspergers would understand this sign but as Christopher has Aspergers this sign confuses him. It confuses him because he thinks abut it logically and realises that there is a lot of grass that you are allowed to walk on.

This scene also helps us understand Christopher’s condition because it shows us that everything he sees he has to be able to understand it logically to be able to understand it at all. In conclusion, I think the novel was really good. I liked how it was written through the eyes of someone with Aspergers as it helped you understand the novel more and also taught you about people with the condition. I also think that because it was written in narrative style it helped you to respond to Christopher better and really understands what he was going through and how he seen the world from his point of view.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 327

  • Pages: 1

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

“This novel demonstrates that telling the truth is not always the right thing to do.” Discuss

Mark Haddon’s ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ explores the value of truth along with its positive implications as opposed to lying, with its negative connotations. Haddon utilizes several events in the novel to demonstrate that telling the truth is always the right thing to do. The novel illustrates that truth is always revealed despite lies that cover it in addition to its depiction of how more parties benefit from truth over lies. Although there are circumstances in which the novel’s Asperger affected protagonist Christopher deems white lies acceptable, his mental condition and obsession with logic ultimately render his claims unreliable.

The notion that truth will always inevitably reveal itself is a recurrent one in the novel. The characters in the novel repeatedly lie in order to protect each other. Haddon includes Mrs Alexander in particular to reinforce his argument though that lying is futile in the sense that the truth should be told in the first place. Her innocent revelation that Mr Shears and Christopher’s mother were “doing sex”, understandably came as a total shock to Christopher. He thought that his mother died of a heart attack and more importantly that his father “always tells [him] the truth”. Haddon’s way of saying that keeping secrets an ultimately lying, is futile.

Throughout the novel, Haddon places his characters in situations that they may find acceptable to lie in; his attempt to show that making the decision to lie always backfires. In particular, when Christopher Evidently, Haddon used Ed and Christopher to prove that even when lies are used to protect or perhaps respect someone, the process of lying is futile and thus, never justifiable.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1035

  • Pages: 4

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

“When I am in a new place and there are lots of people there it is even harder because people are not like cows and flowers and grass and they can talk to you and do things that you don’t expect, so you have to notice everything that is in the place, and also you have to notice things that might happen as well. ” Those are the words of Christopher, from Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, explaining himself to why he acts and does not act a certain way.

But with just that one quote, Christopher reveals his key abilities and disabilities, both physical and mental, of a detective. But even while having these disabilities, because of his Asperger’s syndrome, that may or may not hold him back as a detective, one thing is clear, his disabilities can also be used to his advantage, and benefit him as the amazing detective he is. Christopher has the amazing power of observation, being able to even notice the smallest details and be able to remember.

That is why I am good at chess and maths and logic, because most people are almost blind and they don’t see most things and there is lots of spare capacity in their heads and it is filled with things which aren’t connected and silly, like ‘I’m worried that I might have left the gas cooker on’”. Christopher’s eye for detail and ability to clear his mind to remember them, is one of the abilities he gets from his Asperger’s syndrome, but there is a downside.

When Christopher is confronted with too much information on one matter, it’s like his mind can’t handle it and he must clear his mind up, or when having to deal with a social interaction, it also makes the task of remembering far more difficult. See Christopher’s ability of observation lies on the ability of remembering and organizing all his observations in his mind. But any small discomfort in the outer world, outside his mind, affects his power. So Christopher is like superman, in this case Christopher’s power is observation, and his kryptonite is social interaction.

Christopher’s ratiocinitive abilities and social inabilities make him be more than qualified to be a detective, since detectives are usually acute observers and social outsiders. But even while being a social outsider, Christopher had a great understanding of the lack of social communication people have all around him. With his detective mind, through out the story, he discovers that even the people in his neighberhood don’t know a thing about each other, with only the slight possiblity that they actually know they all exist or yet have to notice.

While on his adventure trying to discover who killed Wellington, he discovers that everyone just kind of knows who’s who, but has no idea who they are, “It’s Christopher, isn’t it? ”. Christopher, even though being limited by his disability, he is determined. “If something is a puzzle, there is always a way of solving it”. Christopher’s determination never seems to seize, when it came to solving the mystery of who killed Wellington, he didn’t care what dangers he would confront, he didn’t care what people would think, he just wanted to know who killed the poor dog.

But eventually, after all the information discovered from searching, from all the passion put into discovering, and all the social awkardness he had to encounter, at the end he discovers who killed Wellington, which shows that no human disability can defeat determination. In James Berger’s, Alterity and Autism, James makes a powerful statement on Christopher which basically describes him completely, “As a person with Asperger’s syndrome, Christopher makes an excellent detective. e notices things: when a teacher compliments him on being clever, Christopher replies that he is merely ‘observant’. His powers of observation, moreover, rely on on precise spatial memories: they are associative, indexical, and made far more difficult by social interaction. ” With this statement, James makes it clear that Christopher has amazing skills to be a great detective, and even though having disabilities and weakness, which may affect him on the job, his powerful mind can still overcome.

So, after all this talk of Christopher, and how his mental disability affects him in a good and negative way, what is Asperger’s syndrome, which is really an Autism spectrum disorder, so what is Autism? “Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders.

So basically, Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome), is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported. Clearly, Christopher had a lot going on his mind besides discovering the dog’s murderer, but his determination and obsession with this case really comes from his disability.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time really gives a message of how a boy’s disability, was really a gift, a talent, an advantage, not really a negative, because if it wasn’t for his Autism, he would of never put interest in it, he would of never noticed and discovered clues and details of the murder, and he would of never found out who killed Wellington. And really the role of Christopher’s “detective work” comically started just to prove that he was qualified to be a detective, and he sure showed he was and is capable of being a great detective.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts