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Reading Autistic Experience in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Intro

Mark Haddon’s postmodern novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, exhibits the narration of Christopher Boone as an authentic voice generating distinctive perspectives of his journey. Christopher Boone the protagonist sufferers Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum that affects his judgment of understanding emotion and perspective. The structural style of the text follows a logical linear style mimicking Christopher’s mind. He finds it difficult to process empathy and can only understand emotion from physical evidence.

This coincides with his love for logic as Chris’s logic perceives the audience as a justification for his actions which influences differing perspectives. Christopher values truth as a core element of the world, this parallels with his trust of people where he feels most loved and safe which delivers authenticity in his narration which allows us to generate unique perspectives of his narration and actions.

Body 1

Christopher best understands situations that he can explain logically rather than emotionally.

He sees himself as similar to detective Sherlock Holmes as Holmes approaches situations from a logical perspective and pursues to find the truth with evidence. Haddon uses the intertextuality of “Sherlock Holmes” to further develop our understanding of Christopher’s love for logic and expresses his unique perspective. Christopher’s narration portrays the overstimulation of the world and the illogicality perspective life that include advertisements that are expressed as absurd and outlandish when described in Christopher’s logical detail. His narration encourages us to re-examine the normality of life by seeing it as subjective, based on individual experience.

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Christopher views emotion from this same logical perspective by applying what he sees as evidence to determine the emotional status of someone.

This is seen when Christopher explains that he keeps a piece of paper in his pocket of facial expression, in which he compares people too. He does this so he can understand what they were feeling. Christopher expresses himself in a logical and straightforward manner and is unable to determine the signals that are given off by people. This is shown when he states “I find people confusing. This is for two main reasons. The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words…The second main reason is that people often talk about using metaphors.” This shows that Christopher does not understand the complexity of human interaction and finds it challenging to perceive the signals that people use to converse. This is exemplified when the logic of Christopher’s memory is explained “like a film”, where he is able to go through his mind and find an event that has occurred. This is shown when he says, “when people ask me to remember something, I can simply press Rewind and Fast Forward and Pause like on a video recorder”. This shows how Christopher’s mind works in a logical linear manner, in which Haddon uses to structure the text by mimicking his mind.

Body 2

Christopher values truth as a core element of the world, which parallels with his trust of people as he feels most loved and safe with people he trusts. Haddon uses Christopher’s narrative to allow us to uncover a world of complex truths and use the unique perspective of Christopher’s logic to re-write our own stories. Christopher views people that tell the truth as safe and trustworthy and views people who lie as untrustworthy and dangerous. This is seen at school where Christopher states, “I just watch them until I know that they are safe. Then I ask them questions about themselves, like whether they have pets and what is their favorite color and what do they know about the Apollo space missions and I get them to draw a plan of their house and I ask them what kind of car they drive, so I get to know them. Then I don’t mind if I am in the same room as them and don’t have to watch them all the time.” Christopher forces us to re-examine how we view relationships.

Due to the marital relationships expressed in the novel are not successful, it allows us to realize that the manner in which we traditionally deal with love and relationships is not necessarily practical. This delivers authenticity to Christopher’s narration as it allows us to generate unique perspectives of his narration and actions. Furthermore, it is mistaken that Christopher has the inability to feel love and closeness due to his Asperger’s, however, even though he doesn’t like being touched and shows no clear signs of missing his mother, Haddon is able to construct a perspective that allows us to be authentically moved by the feelings of Christopher. This can be displayed as he is able to remember the scent of his mother, in which he says, “mother was a small person who smelled nice.” This memory is able to invoke an image of Christopher being physically connected with his mother and being consoled by her recognizable smell.

Conclusion

In inference, Mark Haddon’s novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, exhibits the narration of Christopher Boone as an authentic voice generating distinctive perspectives of his journey. The structural style of the text follows a logical linear style mimicking Christopher’s mind. Christopher finds it difficult to process empathy and can only understand emotion from physical evidence, which coincides with his love for logic as it perceives the audience as a justification for his actions which influences differing perspectives. Christopher values truth as a core element of the world, this parallels with his trust of people where he feels most loved and safe which delivers authenticity in his narration which allows us to generate unique perspectives of his narration and actions.

Cite this page

Reading Autistic Experience in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. (2020, Sep 28). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/reading-autistic-experience-in-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time-essay

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