The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time demonstrates how challenging life is, not just for the disabled but for everyone. Discuss, making sure you support your ideas with detailed references to the text. Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time which is written from the view of a fifteen year old boy Christopher who has Asperger’s syndrome, not only does this book demonstrate how challenging life is for the disabled, but also for everyone.
Having the main character Christopher narrate the story gives you the chance to connect with him and also to experience and understand the challenges he faces in his everyday life because of the disability that he has. Christopher is not the only character in the novel to face challenges. His mother Judy and his father Ed both face challenges. For example, bringing up Christopher who has a disability and also maintaining a solid relationship with each other.
While the reader is shown how challenging life can be, the author also leaves the reader with a feeling of hope with what can happen in the future. Because Christopher has Asperger’s syndrome life is very challenging for him in more than one way. It is hard for Christopher because he can’t understand facial expressions, so he doesn’t know if someone is sad, happy or angry which can be hard because he has to try and guess their mood from the tone of voice they are using.
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Christopher tries to understand facial expressions because he ‘got Siobhan to draw lots of…faces and then write down next to them exactly what they meant’. Another way that life is challenging for Christopher is that he can’t deal with lies and does not like them. In some situations Christopher thinks that it is alright for him to tell white lies but others have to tell the full truth all the time. ‘I do not tell lies. Mother used to say that this was because I was a good person. But it's not because I am a good person.
It is because I can't tell lies. ’ Christopher says that he can’t tell lies but what he does not realize, is that he is telling white lies which are lies. Christopher thinks that telling the truth is a way of life, not just something people choose because it is the right thing to do. Christopher has had many situations where he has been lied to and has not handled it well. He has been lied too about his mother being dead and also about his father killing Mrs Shears dog Wellington.
Christopher does not react to this well, because when he found out he ran away and no longer felt safe around his father. Both Christopher’s parents Judy and Ed Boone find life challenging because they are trying to raise a child with a disability. Christopher’s mother finds life challenging because she has to live her life wondering if her only child is alright because she is sending him letters and she doesn’t know whether he is getting them, she also isn’t getting any replies from Christopher to ensure her that everything is alright.
Even though she has been writing letters to him for a while she has not been getting any letters back because Christopher’s father, Ed, has been hiding them from Christopher because he hadn’t told him that his mother was not actually dead. Christopher’s mother never stopped loving him even though he made her life really hard sometimes and she still kept writing to him and never stopped. ‘You haven’t written to me yet, so I know you’re probably still angry with me. I’m sorry Christopher. But I still love you’.
Another way life is challenging for Judy is that she finds that her only son gets on better with his father. As a mother this would be very heart breaking. She always found it difficult when she took him to the shops or the mall because he would end up crouched down on the floor with is hands over his ears and he would be in the way of everyone. If she tried to move him he would just start screaming. Judy didn’t believe that she had the patience like Ed to look after Christopher and then she was having lots of other problems and that is when she decided to leave.
Judy is not the only person who is finding life challenging but Ed, Christopher’s father is also finding life challenging. Life is challenging for Ed because it is hard to raise a child with a disability especially when you are left to look after them all by yourself. Ed and Christopher’s relationship also struggles when Christopher found out that his own father killed the next door neighbour’s dog Wellington. Christopher started not to trust him anymore and did not feel safe in his company and did not want to be left alone with him.
Life is challenging for Christopher as his Asperger’s syndrome makes if difficult to communicate and to understand others. Life is not only difficult for Christopher but also for his parents, because coping with a child with a disability is not any easy thing to do, but not only that they have also put a strain on their relationship. Though life is challenging not just for the disabled but for everyone, Mark Haddon demonstrates how facing life’s challenges builds a person’s character and ability to cope. Word Count: 910
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