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

1533 words - 6 pages

Mahatma Gandhi, known as one of the great peacemakers of all time, previously said "As human beings, our greatness lays not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves."* This quote's inspiring message of self improvement can be taken to heart and applied to any individual's life. This statement holds true in the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, in which several of its characters follow this idea. Christopher had autism but, other than being some of the most brilliant people in human history, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Andy Warhol, and Bill Gates have all been speculated to have some sort of autism. So Christopher’s condition is not a huge barrier to his success.

When a neighbor’s dog is killed, fifteen year old Christopher sets out to investigate, persisting even when his father tries to stop him. But detection leads to extra challenges for Christopher, because he is autistic. As unbelievable as it seems, I was captivated by this novel, especially because it is not "just another story". As I read through the first chapters in prime numbers, I had lack of entertainment towards his character obviously for the reason that he was hard to comprehend, but as I kept up with my reading I became attached to him. I have heard and studied along with researched, Autism cases for several classes in earlier years of my life, but I had never read a novel so deep and straight forward as "The incident of the dog in the night time". Christopher john Francis Boone is a fifteen year old teenager, that even though he is generously intelligent, at least in the making. He is unable to understand emotions normally, he finds many everyday events threatening and ordinary activities challenging. To cope he has surrounded himself with rules and rituals, red cars are a good sign, yellow cars a bad one; yellow and brown food can't be eaten; food can’t be touching one another in his meal, and so forth. He relaxes by crouching down and groaning, or by listening to white noise. And he does his best to understand the interactions of the people around him intellectually, helped by his photographic memory and mathematical talent, he's doing A-level mathematics even though he attends a special needs school.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is not just a sympathetic and sensitive study of autism, however, but a lively and engaging story of a teenager facing a crisis. It is at the same time sad and funny, entertaining and informative, and serious and overwhelming.

Christopher's unusual perspective makes us see ordinary events and activities in a new way, while his abilities and limitations help drive the plot. And we are sometimes kept in suspense, even though we often know more than the narrator. By this I mean, for example at the end of chapter 67, Christopher is mentioning, "Mr. Shears didn’t want to live in the same house as Mrs. Shears anymore...

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