The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was written by Mark Haddon, to tell the story of Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old boy living in Swindon Wiltshire. Christopher was trying to discover who killed Mrs. Shears dog. Throughout the investigation, the author, Mark Haddon, wrote about Christopher’s Asperger’s Syndrome. Christopher Boone is accurately portrayed as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. It shows the difficulties and the behavior as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and gives the readers the chance to look inside the mind of kid with a autism spectrum disorder.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time had many humorous situations that occurred with Christopher Boone’s investigation, but also provided many real obstacles that a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome faces. Christopher was hostile when ever someone touched him, including hugs and handshakes. After finding Mrs. Shears dog, Wellington, stabbed with garden fork, Mrs. Shears calls the police to remove Christopher. When the officer approached him he grabbed Christopher’s arm and lifted him up. However, Christopher “didn’t like him touching me like this” and proceeded to hit the officer (Haddon 8).
It is difficult for Christopher and anyone who has Asperger’s to stay out of trouble. While it is unbeknownst to them that they are causing harm to a person, their condition can make it difficult to stay out of trouble. Furthermore, Christopher’s father told him to not find out who killed Wellington. However, a person with Asperger’s Syndrome have “peculiarities in speech and languages” (Citation). Christopher did not listen to his father because sometimes “when people tell you what to do it is usually confusing and does not make sense” (Haddon 29).
This ccurately portrays someone with Asperger’s Syndrome because Christopher could not fully comprehend what a person was saying, even though it was simple. He took what his father was saying, thus went against his wishes. This eventually will devaste his father and cause a huge fight, hurting both the father and Christopher. The portrayal of the difficulties one might face with Asperger is fully demonstrated in the way Christopher reacts and comprehend different types of situations. A person with Asperger’s Syndrome finds it hard to communicate with their peers.
The behavior Christopher has around his friends and family, is identical to someone who has Asperger’s in real life. For example, Christopher has trouble identifying emotions of people around him. His teacher, Siobhan, had drawn up many faces of expressions on a piece of paper for Christopher. He “kept the piece of paper in [his] pocket and took it out when [he] didn’t understand what someone was saying” (Haddon 3). This is common among people with Asperger’s to not know what an emotion a person has.
They have “problems with non-verbal communication including the restricted use of gestures, [and] limited or inappropriate facial expressions” (Citation). Christopher must rely on a sheet of paper to identify emotions. While not all kids with Asperger’s Syndrome do this, Christopher’s lack of understanding of emotions through facial expression is what people with Asperger’s suffer with. He also finds people confusing because they “do a lot of talking without using any words” and “people often talk using metaphors” (Haddon 14-15). Christopher is literal and only understands when a conversation is straightforward.
Like many people with Asperger’s Syndrome, they lack the ability to understand non-verbal communications, or figures of speech. This leads Christopher to lack interpersonal skills among his peers and family. Christopher’s daily struggling of communicating with others is parallel of someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Finally, Christopher’s repetitive nature and obsessive interest is actually portrayed as someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Christopher was speaking to the school psychologist, Mr. Jeavons on why he had Good Days, and Black Days.
This came to a surprise to Mr. Jeavons as he thinks Christopher is “a very logical person” (Haddon 24). Christopher explained that “4 red cars in a row made it a Good Day” and “4 yellow are in a row made it a Black Day” (Haddon 24). Christopher explained that he “liked things to be in a nice order” and rationalized it using examples, such as the sun means its a good day, and his dad puts on his right sock first (Haddon 24). Christopher’s idea of having good days and bad days, is a ritual that someone with Asperger’s might have. A person with Asperger’s have “repetitive routines or rituals” (Citations).
Christopher’s unique ritual may be uncommon, but portrays that someone with Asperger’s Syndrome has their own unique contributes to them. Furthermore, Christopher also loves timetables. He has a set schedule for everyday of the week. It is as specific as “Go past tropical fish shop” at 8:43 (Haddon 155) Christopher also had his mother “tell [him] every morning exactly what [they] were going to do that” because it makes him feel better (Haddon 156). This repetitive and set schedule is similar to what people with Asperger’s suffer with.
Christopher must know when something is happening and where. It accurately portrays the repetitive nature someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gives the reader a compelling story through the mind of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. Christopher Boone’s investigation to try to find out who killed a dog, showed the many symptoms and thoughts one with Asperger’s possess. His social and emotional behavior, and his interactions among peers demonstrates someone who has Asperger’s Syndromes.