Society has indicated that it is not concerned about people with disabilities. Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, follows the theme of “sometimes people are born with disabilities but it’s communities that handicap them”. In the novel, the protagonist, Christopher, is put into challenging situations where people do not consider the fact that someone may be disabled. This causes misinterpretations of language and emotions that causes society to blindly handicap others without realizing the outcome.
People do not consider the fact that someone may be disabled. Christopher does not like being touched; this is why he hit the police officer when the officer grabbed his arm. The “policeman looked at me for a little while without speaking. Then he said, “I’m arresting you for assaulting a police officer.” The officer did not know that Chris was disabled or that he did not like being touched. This is why he was in shock when Chris hit him and this left the officer no choice but to treat this as any criminal offence and arrest Christopher. Another incident occurred when Christopher went to the train station to go to London and live with his mother. He went onto the train tracks to catch his pet rat, Toby and a train was speeding towards Christopher so a man grabbed him and saved his life. Christopher says “And the man with the diamond pattern on his socks grabbed me by the shoulders, so I screamed.” Again, it is obvious that the man with the patterned socks was oblivious to the fact that Christopher was disabled. The man was right on his place as he was trying to save a boy that potentially could have been run over by a speeding train but he only made the situation worse by not understanding Christopher’s case. Through Christopher’s struggles of retaliating when being touched and the two people’s effort of trying to set things right with Christopher, it is obvious that society does not consider the fact that someone may be disabled.
Some people have difficulty in understanding what people are saying and interpreting their emotions. Christopher has Asperger’s Syndrome, which causes problems with understanding speech and interpreting emotions. Christopher says, “I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It only has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating.” Christopher likes
dogs as they only have basic moods that Christopher can understand. He prefers dogs rather than humans as humans are much more complex when it comes to emotions and their speech is also not specific and to-the-point like Christopher’s therefore it is not easily understandable. Christopher does not like it when people said things like “I’m going to hit the hay” because he does not know what it means. When the lady said to Chris that she was “going to hit the hay.” Christopher was confused as she was not clear about what she was saying and it was like an alien language to him. Christopher does not like similes or metaphors, as he believes that they are lies and the lady was talking using a metaphor. As Christopher helps himself by using graphics and emoticons and he takes everything literally, he experiences difficulty in understanding what people are saying and interpreting their emotions.
The community and its’ people handicap others without understanding the outcome. An officer is interrogating Christopher and he says, “You seem very upset about this.” Christopher thinks to himself, he was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up on my head like loaves at the factory where Uncle Terry works. It is obvious that Christopher has not been given enough time to process the given information. The officer only wants answers, he is not concerned about the stress that he is putting Christopher though and this causes Chris to not cope as well as he potentially could have. Christopher went onto a train and he did not know that there were toilets on trains and he said, “And then I wanted to go for a wee but I leaked a bit and wet my trousers. And the policeman looked at me and said, “oh, Christ, you’ve…” It is obvious that the officer is only looking at Christopher’s age and not paying attention to his predicament. Both of the officers did not attempt to understand Christopher’s feelings and his problems, rather, they thought deductively and blamed Christopher for not behaving as any ‘normal’ person would have and this is how the community and its’ people handicap others without understanding the outcome.
It is obvious from the evidence above that the theme of “sometimes people are born with disabilities, but its communities that handicap them” is true as Christopher faces many challenging situations yet the community was not
there to help him, rather, they handicapped him even more than he already was.