How does Haddon create sympathy for Ed Boone?
In the novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, I shall be exploring how Haddon creates sympathy for protagonist, Ed Boone. I have many aspects to protect my point of view. Firstly, our first impressions for the character of Ed Boone were that he was a caring and loving father that knew how to handle his even through his difficulties. We know he understands his son and can always sympathize with Christopher, because instead of shouting at or hugging Christopher when he got arrested, he “spread his fingers in a fan” as a “sign of love” for Christopher. We sympathize with Ed because he was currently facing the hardships of being a single parent upbringing an autistic teenager. Haddon makes us sympathize with Ed Boone from the beginning of the novel and carries on throughout exceptionally.
In addition, Haddon heightens out sympathy for Ed Boone when successfully writing a pathetic fallacy for Ed. This happened when Ed had a loving son, wife, home and job, but then we began to sympathize with him because his wife left him for his next door neighbour and he was left alone. So, he started a new relationship with Mrs Shears and soon split up and Ed was left vulnerable on his own, yet again. The impact on Haddon using this technique will help the reader sympathize with Ed from the start of the novel and successfully turns him into a victim in the novel. Furthermore, we as readers can now sympathize with Ed far easier and when Ed “hides things to protect” Christopher, we can infer and deduce he knew Christopher won’t be able to take it all in and it would affect him dearly. So, Ed did what he thought was best and protected Christopher from “knowing the details” about his mother and Wellington. We can understand that it’s difficult and Christopher will not be able to handle it, therefore Ed hid certain information from Christopher out of love and the understanding he has for his son. Moreover, our sympathy was given yet again to Ed when he came back from work and found his son missing.
However, Ed being the responsible parent that he is phoned the police and “worried himself sick.” We can infer and deduce that Ed obviously loves Christopher and the thought of him away from his father worries him. We feel sorry for Ed because we don’t whether he will see his son again and neither does Ed. We can put ourselves in his shoes and know he must be feeling alone, guilty and full of regret and remorse, because of this, we feel sorry for the character of Ed Boone thanks to Haddon’s incredible techniques and powerful plot that guarantees sympathy given to the written character, Ed Boone. Finally, the last point I have in which Haddon makes the reader give an endless amount of sympathy and love to Ed, is where Haddon written out the situation of a single working parent of an autistic teenager who has many special needs. In which, in able to look after teenager, Christopher, you have to understand his needs and wants.
To do this you will need a lot of patience and it can be very difficult at times because Christopher can last several days without eating or communicating. Also, he won’t eat any two foods touching, in result of them being thrown away and he doesn’t eat or touch anything that is the colour brown or yellow. Christopher has many other needs and Ed has to understand Christopher’s mind frame and know what to do in able to cope with his son. To be able to live with Christopher and have such a close relationship between the two of them, takes a great amount of patience and love, and is even harder to do when on your own. Haddon enable the reader to understand that life is challenging for Ed and makes us come to a realization that we will not be able to do what Ed is doing, so we naturally give our sympathy to Ed because of what he has to cope with in his day to day life.
To conclude this essay, I strongly believe that Haddon creates many circumstances where the reader can sympathize with protagonist, Ed Boone. Because of Haddon’s phenomenal writing skills, we give nothing but sympathy and understanding to Ed as he faces many challenges, and because we can’t help him, we comfort Ed and sympathize with him. Sympathy given to Ed from the reader was one of Haddon’s expectations from this novel, and I can truly say he exceeded in this and brought true emotions for protagonist, Ed Boone.