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The Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-time

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 3640 words Published: 4th May 2017

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One of the interesting novels that I am going to write about is called: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”. Which is the next novel I am going to describe it for my second assessment for the module, Contemporary Novel in English. In my essay regarding the novel I have mentioned I will demonstrate a brief introduction which generally shows or gives an idea or image to the reader of what the story about. For instance, the writer of the novel, Mark Haddon has created many interesting parts of the story which grabs the readers’ attention. Furthermore, the title of the story clearly represents the contents as it narrates about a dog which was killed by Christopher who is the main character in this novel makes an investigation in order to find out the mystery of who has killed Wellington, Mrs. Shears’ dog Christopher is a fifteen year-old boy, lives in Swindon that is located in Southern UK which is three hours far from London. He lives with his father and his works as electrics maintenance. Christopher has the Asperger’s Syndrome which makes him behave in certain behaviour. For example, he does not find it comfortable when someone touches him, hates crowdness noise, does not talk to strangers because he believes that it is dangerous, hates the colours yellow and brown, and quite intelligent in math. Hates lying and is so friendly to dogs or pets in general, he hates smokers because of their smell, he likes spending his time on solving mathematical equations, feeding his pet rat, Tobby and playing Minesweeper on his computer. In Specific, he has strange habits, which you do not find others may obtain. One interesting characteristics is that he loves doing investigations in order to solve a certain mystery and this is what most of the story is based on.

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Regarding the author who has all the contribution to this story, used to a simple language to the reader in order to easy comprehension, he uses different types of ways in putting his language represented to the reader, which makes it simple and straight forward, through he restructures certain points or repeats many of them (give quotation) that may serve as a way to reformulate the idea to the reader or to remind about certain facts and details. The writer also applies a language that contain swear words (e.g.) which may influence the readers’ point of view regarding the novel, but the author’s intention is to picture to his readers the detailed facts and events that happened. For example, he represented several letters, which Christopher’s mother wrote to her son. This may be the author’s own property, but surely readers would be more interested and curious to know about some of the contents of the letters. It helped keeping the reader hesitate whether Christopher’s father claimed and this what grabs the readers interest to read more regarding the facts and know more about what actually happened. I will also represent several points as an introduction about the author.

In addition, in quick details I would like to illustrate the events of the story “The Curious Incident if the dog in the Night-time” as it will be useful to be familiar regarding the facts and important events that are interesting to know about and help answer my question which I chose to determine in my second assessment for Contemporary Novels in English module, but I would represent the main characters of this novel before I make a summary of the story. By the way, being familiar with the characters is a one good step to understand the complete idea and sense of the story. In particular, as I mentioned recently in this essay that Christopher Swindon is the main character of this novel. And the protagonist character which most of the novel is based on. Christopher’s father called Ed. Boone who always takes care of his son and quite alert to Christopher’s needs, though he lies, but promised his son that he would lie and asked him to keep trust in him. He’s a boiler engineer very patient and understands his son’s situation, but later become annoyed and uncomfortable with his son’s behaviour, such as the investigation he has been doing to reveal the mystery of Wellington’s murder. Judy Boone is Christopher’s mother. She is very high tempered and never patient with Christopher and her husband though she tries to be calm very usually loses control and becomes angry. She has betrayed her husband and is a very close friend to Mr. Shears who is a neighbour that lives on the other side of the road. As well as, Ed. Boone, Christopher is also a very close friend to Mrs. Shears, but later they had some conflicts and made them unfriendly with each other. Christopher’s mother has left the house once she had her husband many quarrels with her husband, Ed. Boone and she has moved with Mr. Shears to London and got a temporary job. Mrs. Shears has been quite so friendly to Ed. Boone and Christopher. She comes to their house, looks after them, Cooks and gets back to her home. Later, she had a quarrel with Christopher’s father and therefore she decided to stay away from his house. Another character from the story called Mrs. Alexander who is another neighbour that lives right besides Mrs. Shears house. She is an old woman about the age of 60’s. She’s very friendly with Christopher and told him some secrets once he asked her many questions regarding his investigation to solve the mystery of the dog murder. Mrs. Alexander has revealed some points that concern the relationship amongst Christopher’s father with Mrs. Shears and the relationship between his mother with Mr. Shears and she asked him to keep this as a secret, though she trusts him and he promised not to tell anyone especially his father, though he did not care a lot about these facts. Siobhan is another character that I world like to represent who Christopher’s teacher at school. She assists him with many issues and whatever coincidences Christopher, she gives him the fit situation to deal with certain things. For example, she explains to him how to react once someone involves him into a conflict or a fight, she guides and clarifies many points to him, which means that she has a big contribution in helping Christopher being on the right track. She also helped him towards writing his book novel, “The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night-time”. Whenever something happens to Christopher he tells Siobhan and whatever that faces him in life so that she could solve out anything that he is confused about. On the other hand, Mr. Jeavons is the psychologist at Christopher’s school who also has several contributions to changes in Christopher’s way of life but not as much as Siobhan. Next, Wellington in Mrs. Shears’ dog which was killed by Christopher’s father and which Christopher decided to make an investigation to reveal the truth and the person who committed the crime, but this is before Christopher’s father confesses and tells his son the truth. In addition, Rohdri is Ed.’s friend who works with him in the boiling business, he usually comes over to Ed.’s house to share a talk and drink beer together. Finally, Toby is Christopher’s pet rat which he always takes care of by feeding him and accompany him at most places he goes to. However, this was an illustration of the novel’s main characters in order for the reader to being familiar with before describing the summary which I will demonstrate next.

In details, the novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” has maintained likeness from many of its readers in many countries which it is due to the effectiveness of the remarkable facts written and the style that the writer used to increase the interest for the readers to read. Specifically, the novel starts with the event of the dog Wellington being killed that belongs to Mrs. Shears. It made Christopher curious to discover the person who committed such crime. Therefore he decided to determine the murder and solve this sort of mystery. Though, he has got a caution from the police and his father to stay out of trouble. Afterward, he wanted to start his investigation by going around neighbours houses and ask them whether they witnessed this sort of accident though he feels that it is dangerous because talking to strangers does not make him feel comfortable. He avoids going to ask the next door neighbours because they deal with drugs which are scary to him and quite not safe to carry an investigation with them. He goes to Mrs. Shear’s house and asks her whether she knows or doubts about anyone who killed Wellington, but she did not answer any of his questions and ignored him.

Christopher is not interested at all in reading poetic or other types of books, but mathematics and mystery novels. He believes that doing investigations and solving out problems or mysteries is an interesting thing to do. As a result, he trespasses through Mrs. Shears’ backyard in order to observe the spot which Wellington was killed and he tests certain garden tools to check whether any of them were used to kill Wellington and he believes that the pitchfork was used in the murder mystery. By the way, Christopher keeps a record of all the facts which he faces daily in his investigation in order write a book with help from Siobhan. He goes over to Mrs. Alexander’s in order to collect more details, she indirectly clarifies that Christopher’s father is not friendly an more with Mrs. Shears and tries avoiding to answer Christopher’s questions. She tries to be a close friend to him, but Christopher does not recommend himself to talk to her as a friend because he pretends as being on duty to solve Wellington’s murder mystery. Christopher’s father has received news that his son goes around asking questions to collect information from others, therefore, he notifies Christopher to forget such accident and never involve himself into other people’s business. He got angry regarding Christopher’s behaviours, so he took his book which he wrote about the facts of his investigation. He hides it somewhere in the house. Whenever, Christopher does not feel well, he solves several mathematical equations in his head in order to make him feel better and test his thinking or concentrating ability. He has managed to find the book which he is writing and his father hid. He searches in many different places in the house, but eventually finds his book in his father’s bedroom. On the other hand, he finds some letters which his mother has sent him recently that made Christopher confused because his father had told him that Christopher’s mother has died from a heart attack and thought that those letters could belong to another person because he thinks that his mother is dead. This becomes another mystery which he needed to add in his novel. Though, Christopher did not care much about his mother’s death once his father told him so, but he kept some of the letters with him because he believes that those letters are his property and he has the right to open them and read them. Once his father saw him reading the letters he did not really know what to say or what to do, but tried to calm down the situation and decided to tell the truth to Christopher and fix the problem revealing to him all the lies he told to him. In specific, he told him that he hid the letters from Christopher for later time until he becomes older. Therefore, Christopher knew that his mother is still alive and the letters indeed belong to him and that father has lied to him about his mother’s death. Another mystery that his father revealed is the murder of Wellington, Mrs. Shear’s dog. He confesses that he killed it and gave some reasons which leaded him into killing the dog. Christopher thought it was a joke that his father is telling, but then he knew that it is true especially, when his father has promised him not to tell lies anymore. His father apologizes and asks him to keep trust in him, but Christopher remains silent and shocked about what he hears from his father. He got scared and decides to leave the house once his father is asleep. He packed several of his belonging and went to the backyard of the house with his pet, Toby. Christopher equates the ability to murder a dog with the ability to murder a human. He thought that staying in the house is not safe anymore and therefore he prefers to stay somewhere else. He finds the best option to leave for London to where his mother stays. He travels through the train, though, many difficulties and challenges that faced him before he reaches London, such as the policeman who was chasing him once he receives a call that a father is looking for his son Christopher, but father a long journey he arrives to his mother’s apartment in which he feels it is much safer than staying with his father. Later on, his mother had several quarrels with Mr. Shears whom she stays with and she got suspended from her temporary job. She takes decision to take Christopher and go back to Swindon. They were back to Ed.’s Boone house. The conflict among Christopher’s parents was still going on, but he had the decision whether to stay with either parents. He chooses to be with his mother, but his father brings him a dog in order let Christopher comes over to his house whenever he likes. Christopher has many plans and achievements in life such as, studying in a university and become a scientist. He believes that he could do anything and as he says:

“… I will become a scientist … I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of who killed Wellington? And I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything” (p. 268)

Section two: __________________________________________________________

My objectives in my essay regarding the novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” is to:

1. Describe the effect of reading the letters Christopher’s mother wrote to him.

2. Was his mother justified on leaving?

3. Does Christopher comprehend her apology and her attempt to explain herself?

4. Does he have strong feeling about the loss of his mother?

5. Which of his parents is better suited to take care of him?

My essay will be built upon those questions. According to certain facts and details from the novel it will be useful to explain my answer and analysis of the novel. For instance, while Christopher was working on an investigation to discover the murder mystery of Mrs. Shear’s dog, Wellington, he writes down all his day moments in complete details and descriptions, Christopher’s father has warned his son to not to do so and stop the investigation game, stop going around asking people to collect information about the murder. In general, he notified him to stop interfering with other people’s business. He realized Christopher’s book which he writes about his daily stories and events, but gets angry and hides it somewhere in the house to prevent his son from working on such investigations. Though, he does this to protect his son from getting into troubles. Christopher insists to find the book next day once his father goes to work or duty. He eventually finds the book in his father’s bedroom, but decides to keep the book the same place where his father hid it, but at the same time he found letters which are addressed to him as “Christopher Swindon”. He read one letter to him from his mother, but doubts that the letters are his due to what his father has informed him that his mother had died from a heart-attack. It kept him questioned whether these letters were sent before his mother died or whether she is still alive or dead. The effect of these letters is that it made him curious to know such a mystery because he believes that his father has lied to him about his mother’s death. He does feel sympathy for his mother and it made him lose trust in his father. Therefore, he takes the decision to stay with his mother as he might feel that it is safer being with her. Furthermore, I do not believe that Christopher’s mother is justified in leaving because her son is in a moment of life which needs more care and love from both of the parents. As pointed in the novel that she has never been patient with her son’s behaviours and could not get along with such conditions. She had many quarrels with her husband, Ed. Boone and was in a relationship with Mr. Shears. She decides to leave for London with Mr. Shears and her family behind. However, she feels that she might have done a big mistake in leaving her son Christopher, though she feels guilty about her actions towards her son. She sends him letters weekly to keep in touch with her son and to tell him about the latest news in her life and explains all about the reasons which forced her into leaving her house from Swindon to London. Moreover, she apologizes in her letters to Christopher about her actions in previous times. She never a response from Christopher because she thinks that he is upset about what she has done, but actually the letters never reached him because his father hides them in order to keep his son away from his mother. I do believe that Christopher comprehends his mother’s apology, but he does not care much about her relationship with Mr. Shears, especially, when Mrs. Alexander told him several secrets about their relationship. Once he told Siobhan about it she asked him whether to talk about this topic or not in order to make him comfortable and feel better, but he refuses because it does not upset him and he does have strong feeling about the loss of his mother. In particular, once he lost trust in his father he believes it would be better to stay with his mother for the reason that he feels it is safer. Also, the letters which Christopher’s mother sent to her son created a strong relation and a feel for the need to be closer to his mother. However, when father lied to Christopher about the fake death of mother, he had not any feeling of sadness because his father understands his needs and takes care of him rather than his mother. Also, I do believe that Christopher’s father is better suited to take care of Christopher. Besides, both parents are indeed important, but in this case where there are conflicts between the parents, I do prefer that Christopher’s father is better suited to take care of his son Christopher. Ed. Boone, Christopher’s father has always been patient to his son’s reactions and well understood of his case and needs as he suffers from autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, but he took care of him all the time, solves many troubles which his son has been through, serves his son for whatever Christopher may need, he never thought about leaving Christopher behind as his wife, Judy Boone has done. However, he lied to Christopher about two big things that made Christopher loose trust in his father. Christopher’s mother tries to re-arrange the situation and correct her mistake once her son decides to stay with her, but Christopher’s father insists that he keeps his son with him, which shows how much he loves him. In brief, conflicts among parents may create un-bounding of the family which keep their kids hesitate with who is better to stay with, especially, in the case of Christopher’s disorders of autism.

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Section Three: ________________________________________________________

In conclusion, the novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog of the Night-time” written by Mark Haddon in first person perspective, shows many stylistic effects in order to grab readers’ attention. He uses most of the daily events in Christopher’s life, gives readers a chance to view the image in their brains to interpret the novel. For instance, the story is based upon the murder mystery of Wellington, Mrs. Shears’ dog in which Christopher carried on an investigation to discover the person who is involved in such murder. He is diagnosed with the Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome which may create in ability in social interactions, no fear of danger, avoids eye contact, etc. He wrote his daily coincidences and events of each day once he is doing his investigation regarding the murder mystery. His father has warned him not to interfere with other people’s business in order to avoid trouble and hid the book that his son is writing. As a result, when Christopher eventually discovers another mystery about his mother’s death, but later then, two mysteries were revealed once Christopher’s father has confessed that he killed Wellington that his mother is still alive. However, Christopher decides to leave from house and leave to his mother to London as he believes it is safer to stay with and his father could be dangerous and kill him because he killed Wellington. He finds is very suitable to stay with his mother. As Mr. Jeavons suggested that solving mathematical equations, which Christopher usually does in his head makes him feel comfortable. Christopher believes that he is able to do anything due to his achievements and intelligence in mathematics, solving two mysteries and his journey to London. Finally, this novel carries many meanings to present to the reader that life may have many challenges for us, but whenever we have the enthusiasm, nothing can be impossible.


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