Essay on the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

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From your study of the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, how are the key ideas, particularly ‘living with a disability’ uniquely explored in the novel? The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a fictional novel composed by contemporary British author, Mark Haddon with hybrid genres. Written from the perspective of Christopher, a fifteen year old adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome, the novel contains a myriad of themes and ideas. Through engaging distinctive characteristics, the themes of living with a disability, family relationships, and truth and lies are powerfully conveyed. We realise from the beginning of the novel that the main protagonist, Christopher, is suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome and we are able to palpably experience the difficulties faced by not only the person diagnosed with the disability but the people who have any sort of relationship with them, especially their family. Christopher knows that he has ‘behavioural problems’, and he knows that looking after him causes his parents a great deal of stress. His deadpan narration reveals this; “I used to think that Mother and Father might get divorced… This was because of the stress of looking after someone who has Behavioural Problems like I have.” Christopher does not have well developed emotional intelligence and his social interactions are limited. He also cannot relate to others with empathy or sympathy, and finds the intricacies of a social world highly confusing and illogical at times. His first person, simplistic and childish narration, “I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating” illuminates his difficulties with people and why he identifies more with animals than with people. Christopher’s difficulty in relating to others and in understanding a complex social world is further examined as

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