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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Theme Analysis
Transcript of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Theme Analysis
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Although disabilities are often viewed as impediments, they can actually be valuable assets.
Mark Haddon develops the unique character of Christopher Boone throughout the novel as a socially awkward, autistic boy who, although has many setbacks due to his mental disability, overcomes these difficulties and even surmounts these hindrances with his extraordinary intelligence and ability to view things in an unorthodox manner. Haddon portrays this theme through his creative use of characterization and point of view to truly drive in the theme that although disabilities are often viewed as impediments, they can actually be valuable assets.
By: Alex Stephens, Madelyn Hayes, and Kelly Pring
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" follows the journey of teenage autistic boy, Christopher. Christopher can not empathize with the feelings of people and he has a strong dislike towards the colors brown and yellow. However, he adores math and animals. His love for and connection with animals leads him on a quest to find the murderer of his neighbor's dog, Wellington. In the process, Christopher uncovers an even bigger secret.
Christopher has a major impediment in the novel: his autism. He can not feel or think like those around him, which can obviously be very difficult. While he doesn't have as much of an ability to feel as other people, his mind is an incredible asset. The way that he thinks is so advanced and complex that he can notice and understand many more things than others around him. Even though Christopher can't empathize and has few social graces, he is still able to use his convoluted mind to figure things out that would go unnoticed by others. In a way, his disability compensates for itself by giving him intelligence in place of emotion.
Theme and Point of View
Christopher tells the story of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" through a unique version of 1st person point of view. He is writing about his experiences while writing the book.
This method of writing gives the reader a very clear insight into Christopher's mind and allows them to experience his brilliance.
The quote, " My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057" (2), is one of the first clues the reader receives about Christopher's vast knowledge.
Theme and Characterization
Although Haddon develops Christopher's character through illustrating some of the minor drawbacks of living with mild autism by describing his social awkwardness and inability to empathize with people, Haddon focuses the bulk of the book on how Christopher's disability can actually be viewed as an asset.
To describe these advantages of autism, Haddon writes, "My memory is like a film. That is why I am really good at remembering things, like the conversations I have written down in this book, and what people were wearing, and what they smelled like, because my memory has a smelltrack which is like a soundtrack" (76).
This quote gives us a direct insight into the mind of Christopher and how he thinks. Haddon concentrates the novel on Christopher's strengths such as his photographic memory and superlative abilities in math and science rather than his disabilities associated with autism.