The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time

977 words - 4 pages

In Mark Haddon's contemporary novel, "The curious incident of the dog in the Night-Time", the protagonist, Christopher Boone, does seem completely unsuited to narrating a novel, as he takes on his authorial voice, thus demonstrating symptoms of his disability, 'Asperger's Syndrome.' This is a syndrome that enables him to see the world only through his limited perspective, which is closed, frightened and disorientated - which results in his fear of, and inability to understand the perplexing world of people's emotions. His description of events can be somewhat unreliable as he is unable to see the real truths that lie before him. As he narrates, readers are confronted with his peculiarities - whether it is not liking to be touched, his fear of germs, strangers and crowds to his inability to eat foods with particular colors. However, through Christopher's authorial voice, his description of events in his life, and in particular, his description of his oddities those seem completely 'normal' to him, make him an interesting and fascinating narrator. As he can be proven to be an unreliable narrator as he is incapable of lying (and understanding lies) and this limits his ability to perceive the full reality of the world, thus providing him with a strange combination of credibility and unbelievability. Again, this is what makes him a wonderful narrator - at times readers can mistrust his interpretation of such events, or they can believe him.
As the novel progresses, Christopher takes his audience onboard his personal journey, and explicates his phobias to us, whether they be 'not liking yellow things or brown things' and 'refusing to touch yellow things or brown things', 'not eating food if different sorts of food are touching' each other, to 'not being touched' by strangers, or even by his family. Through his lengthy account, the reader learns to empathize with him, as he knows no better as his syndrome prevents him from overcoming such minor phobias that 'normal' children overcome through puberty or socialization. However, what makes him a fascinating narrator is how he has learnt to deal with some of his phobias - as he also cannot bear loud noises, physical contact, strange people or unfamiliar places, he uses coping strategies such as 'groaning', 'screaming', 'hitting' fasting or even 'crawling' into small spaces. We see his distress at being grabbed by the policeman at the scene of Wellington the dog's death, which results in initiating one of his coping strategies, 'hitting'. Later we learn, Christopher attacks his father after his novel has been discovered. Overall, Christopher does convey to readers that his biggest underlying fear is of physical assault/illness, thus why he carries his 'Swiss Army Knife' and gets out the 'saw blade' when feeling scared. Christopher's phobias may suggest that he is unsuited to narrating a novel; however by including such accounts of how he deals with them single-handedly adds twists to the plot, as such...

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