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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time By Mark Haddon

1090 words - 5 pages

Great social skills, or great intelligence? The ability to make friends in a heartbeat, or the ability to solve quadratic equations in a second? This choice comes easy for Christopher John Francis Boone, the protagonist in the book: there is no choice. Christopher was presumably born with autism, and suffers from certain disabilities and challenges. On the contrary, he also excels in certain things. Mark Haddon's novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time demonstrates the types of challenges and rewards that autistic people experience on a daily basis. Sometimes autism can be challenging and hard to live with, but it also can be rewarding and have its enhanced abilities. And ...view middle of the document...

Christopher, not picking up his tone, literally answers the question, listing all the things he did wrong. A “normal” person would just stay quiet, but Christopher felt that he needed to answer the question. This angers his father much more, resulting in a fist-fight between the two. Christopher’s complete lack of comedic knowledge and sense of humour is very visible. On page 8, Christopher claims “This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them.” He then proceeds to completely dissect one of his father’s jokes (his face was drawn but the curtains were real) to see where the humour would be. Since he’s so logical, Christopher looks at every possibility in which this can be a joke. These examples of Christopher’s social inabilities demonstrate how autism is challenging in daily life.
On the other hand, Christopher’s astounding intellectual and logical skills show how rewarding and giving autism can be. Christopher is so mathematically advanced, that he is constantly talking about and preparing for his A-level math exam, which is the hardest one he can possibly take at his age. After constant adversity and obstacles, he finally gets to do it, on pages 212-213. During the exam, he gets so nervous about failing that he actually has to use math to calm down. He recites cubed cardinal number in order to feel somewhat relaxed and confident in his work. Christopher’s obsession with closure and having a straightforward answer also proves how focused he always is, and how he has an amazing attention to detail. On page 61, Christopher says “He (Mr. Jeavons) said I liked maths because it meant solving problems, and these problems were difficult and there was always a straightforward answer.” This implies that he needs closure to feel complete and ready to move onto another task. This is why he kept investigating Wellington’s murder, despite everyone warning him not to. He knew there was one murderer, so he needed to find out who committed it, since there would be a single and straightforward answer. Christopher’s mental abilities are well established in the entirety of the story, and autism being rewarding is justified.
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