The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Super Good Days, Good Days, Quite Good Days and Black days, depend on how many cars in a row and what colour they are, for Christopher John Francis Boone.Christopher, aged 15 years and 3 months and 2 days, is different from other boys and girls his age.He knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and although he is gifted with a superbly logical brain, he is autistic.
The key brilliance to Mark Haddon’s book, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, is the method in which Christopher’s autism is communicated.Though autism is not something funny but more serious, Haddon still manages to integrate humour and emotion into his writing.
This essay will discuss the ways in which Haddon portrays Christopher’s autism, using three of the main ways in which it is communicated throughout the novel. They are: the language that Christopher uses, the emotions and feelings that he has in general and for others, and his likes and dislikes, all conveyed when Christopher is writing his murder mystery story. His language can be viewed when he talks to others and when he writes in his book about the things that happened.One of the best aspects Christopher’s autism is portrayed in is his writing language; its structure and depth tells us a great deal about the challenges an autistic child has when something goes or happens out of order. Haddon writes his book as though Christopher is the author of it; this lets us observe how autism affects his structure of writing. When Christopher writes, he writes short, concise, and to the point sentences but still conveys everything in full detail (either by using ‘and’ extensively in a sentence or writing several sentences until everything is described. This quote is very supportive of this idea as it tells us a great deal about Christopher’s use of written language and about his dilemma of understanding emotion; “Mother died 2 years ago.
I came home from school one day and no one answered the door… ” *? Instead of writing sentences and sentences about how Christopher feels about the death of his mother, he merely just states how he found out about it. He quote gives you an idea about how Christopher does not have the feel for fluid and expressive writing like we do, therefore making his writing emotionless.This is as the result of having difficulties in understanding people and how they express emotion. Christopher’s mind cannot process emotions and feelings correctly; instead he reacts by screaming and moaning.
When he looks around him he ‘sees everything’. In the following quote Christopher reveals why he sees everything and explains how it makes him feel. “And when I see a new place, because I see everything, it is like when a computer is doing too many things at the same time and the central processor unit is blocked up and there isn’t any space left to think about other things. .. and I have to close my eyes and put my hands over my ears and groan, which is like pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL and shutting down programs ..
. so that I can remember what I am doing and where I am meant to be going. ” *? This quote is one of the perfect examples of the difficulties that Christopher, as an autistic boy, has to face in everyday situations. Around a crowd it becomes even harder for him as he doesn’t like that they can talk to you or do things that you don’t expect, so he is obliged to notice everything and things that might happen.Christopher is a great deal better at understanding patterns than understanding and relating to other humans. This is why he is very fond of prime numbers. As well as liking prime numbers, Christopher also has many other likes and dislikes that he is very picky about.
Given that Christopher has countless likes and dislikes that he is sensitive about, it almost seems as though he has a type of OCD autism. He doesn’t like certain colours and cannot eat foods of those certain colours, he cannot be touched, has strict timetables, etc.In addition, Christopher also cannot cope with things changing or not happening like they are supposed to. A remarkable quote that exemplifies that is found in chapter 73; “It is permitted to move the chairs and the table in the kitchen because that is different, but it makes me feel dizzy and sick if someone has moved the sofa and the chairs in the living room or the dining room. ” *? Christopher is basically highly receptive to his surroundings and cannot handle certain situations or circumstances. This is also why he can’t have sorts of food touching each other on his plate.Furthermore, Christopher does not lie and metaphors, also considered lies, makes him confused.
He truly likes patterns and symmetry in math and he feels comfortable around them; He prefers so called ‘white noise’, solving maths equations and playing games such as Minesweeper. It is phenomenal as to how Mark Haddon accurately describes the autistic individual throughout the novel, which you really notice when you read it as it is a ‘true to life’ story that gives the reader the chance to get inside the brain of such a person.In his choice of written language and the way that Christopher’s emotions and feelings are presented, you are able to find out about the challenges that Christopher faces due to not being competent of understanding other people. Reasons for likes and dislikes are made so much more understandable when presented from the mind of an autistic child than it might be to an outsider looking in.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has become such a successful novel as it is told from Christopher John Francis Boone’s point of view, shown in the ways in which his autism is communicated throughout the novel. *? [Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Doubleday, 2003, page 22] *? [Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Doubleday, 2003, pages 143-144] *? [Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Doubleday, 2003, page 47]