The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime
How does Haddon use a range of techniques to convey his central ideas?
The novel ‘The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime’, by Mark Haddon is set in the UK and focuses on the main character Christopher Boone. This book explores living with autism, family relationships, hope and optimism, through Christopher’s unique perspective and shows us how people with Asperger’s syndrome really see the world. Haddon uses the narrative techniques of narrative perspective, narrative structure and symbolism to convey his central idea.
Haddon explores what it is like to live with autism through his use of Christopher’s unique narrative perspective. Living with autism can be challenging yet also rewarding for Christopher and it makes him view the world extremely logically. Christopher is engrossed with science, maths, the stars and prime numbers because they provide a sense of comfort for him. The people and things around him can often overwhelm Christopher, and he will look at the stars or count prime numbers to comfort himself. This is shown early on in the book when Christopher explains the numbers that are used for the chapters in his book are prime numbers because “Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”(Page 6) The reader understands that Christopher uses things that he knows and understands to comfort him when he is feeling overwhelmed. The reader comprehends that this is a source of comfort for him. While dealing with Asperger’s, the world can often become overwhelming. Simple things such as being asked too many questions, or people talking too fast, can cause Christopher to break down. “and make a noise that, Father calls groaning. I make this noise when there is too much information coming into my head from the outside world.” (Page 8) The readers feel sympathy towards Christopher, as they can understand feeling so over whelmed with an information overload. Throughout the novel, Haddon shows how frustrated autistic people can become when they do not understand what people are thinking or feeling. Christopher uses tactics like drawings to help him understand how to perceive people’s emotions, but he still gets frustrated because he does not know how to draw all of the emotions that people feel on a face. By giving readers and insight into Christopher’s life using his unique narrative perspective, the author successfully, increase our knowledge of the struggles of Asperger’s syndrome.
Haddon investigates the problems that often arise in family relationships by using Christopher’s narrative structure, and the pressures of parenting a child with autism. Relationships between spouses break down under the pressure of dealing with a special needs child. The communication between family members can deteriorate and bec...