Character Change In Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime Hunter High School/English Essay

1847 words - 8 pages

Ashley Foyerna
English 9.81
May 12, 2013
Who Can Say If I’ve Been Changed For the Better?
In ​The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime​, by Mark Haddon, Christopher says,
“The thought of going somewhere on my own was frightening. But then I thought about going
home again… and Father finding me, and that made me feel even more frightened… I had to go
to London to live with mother” (129-131). Although Christopher is afraid of travelling on his
own, he overcomes his fears and becomes more independent. Similarly, in ​A Raisin in the Sun​ by
Lorraine Hansberry and ​Maus​ by Art Spiegelman, the protagonists undergo character
development as a result of facing their fears or being involved in a frightening situation. All three
texts show the metamorphosis of a character, however the nature of the challenge as well as the
character’s pre existing personality determines whether the change will be for the better or the
worse.
In the beginning of​ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime​, Christopher is
timid and nervous when he confronts incidents that are new to him. For example, Christopher is
frightened of Ms. Alexander because of “stranger danger” even though she had been his
neighbor for many years and was kind, caring, and helpful. This shows his shy and paranoid
personality. Additionally, when a policeman interrogates Christopher about whether or not he
killed Wellington, Christopher says, “I rolled back onto the lawn and pressed my forehead to the
ground again and made the noise that Father calls groaning. I make this noise when there is too
much information coming into my head from the outside world” (7). This is an unknown
situation to which Christopher doesn’t know how to react. When he is put under stress,
Christopher “groans” and blocks out the situation around him, a result of his tense and afraid
nature. Similarly, when Christopher goes shopping with his mother, he is scared of all the people
that are touching him, so he throws a tantrum. To describe this experience, Christopher says,
“There were lots of people in the street doing their shopping but I…didn’t like all the people near
me because it was...like there was shouting in my head so I...groaned” (139). When Christopher
is around people unfamiliar to him or in a large crowd, he becomes frightened and has sensory
overload. Christopher’s exposure to experiences he isn’t used to causes him to feel shy and
anxious.
Throughout the book, Christopher develops as a character by transforming into an
independent, confident, and determined young man. When Christopher finds a letter written by
his mother, he suspects that she may be alive since the letter was posted “18 months after” she
“had died” (98). At this point, Christopher, along with the reader, theorizes about what might be
occurring, and while reading subsequent letters, he begins to intuit that his mother is still alive.
After this tense and suspenseful scene, Christopher’s trust in his father is faltering....

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