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First and foremost can we see the search for order and stability as a major theme in the novel. For me personally is also order and stability important, but perhaps not to the extent that Christopher has it. For Christopher, the desire for order and stability is actually a necessity of living. Since he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, he needs an ordered and stable life to be happy and safe.
I also found some minor themes in the novel, such as ways stability can be found, especially as relevant to Christopher`s life. First, there is the stability of family, something which seems evident in. The need of stability in your family life is of course important for everyone that lives on this planet.
Activity 2: Reader as Analyst
How is the novel structured?
To begin with it seems like the structure of the plot is based on order, like a disruption of the order, and a reestablishment of a new kind of order. The novel starts with the death of Wellington, which Christopher tries to solve. There is also a second mystery that is in the process of being solved, but Christopher does not realize it immediately. When he finally does, the seemingly simple problem of a dog's death takes on a new dimension. When we get to the middle of the novel, the mystery seems to get sorted out.
Whose point of view are we invited to share? / How do we learn about the various characters, including the narrator?
We are invited to share the point of view of an autistic teenager, which gives the reader better knowledge of how Christopher sees things in the world. There is no doubt that a teenager as Christopher encounters many challenges in life, and by this point of view, we mostly get the opportunity to face them all. There are many examples in the book where Christopher reacts negative on being surprised or confused. One of them are page 3, this notes his inability to interpret emotions.
I think a book being written in first person allows the reader to understand the protagonist better and to empathize on deeper level. Without this option the text wouldn`t be realistic at all, and the lack of understanding attitudes, plus his behavioural problems could be confusing. For my understanding of the novel did the illustrations and graphics help, they was very effective. Since Christopher has the disease he has, is this a perfect way to see how he thinks and looks at things.
Finally, I believe the book had both advantages and disadvantages of being written in first person. The advantage is that the text sounds realistic and it is easier to understand and sympathize with the protagonist in the novel who suffers from Asperger's Disease. The disadvantage is that you don't know the point of view of other characters and that could be a problem because Christopher can't interpret emotions so he probably gives an inaccurate interpretation of the point of view of the other characters in the novel.Â
What sort of language do we find in the text? Do you have any thoughts on why this might be?
Mark Haddon is definitively no modern Shakespeare, his language is very simple and repetitive. In my opinion this turns out as a book for children, but itââ‚¬â„¢s also a good book for older people. This book invites all kinds of people to see a teenager with Asperger's syndrome meet different everyday problems. Therefore, this is a good book for us ordinary people.
Activity 3: Reader in the Broader Context: Exploring Issues Today and Yesterday
Many of the motifs in the book represent either controlled order or chaotic excess, as these are the things which most concern Christopher as narrator. Mathematics is the most prevalent motif in the book, as it's the means by which Christopher best understands the world around him. There are many passages devoted to seemingly esoteric issues of math and science, sometimes confounding the reader with its complexity. For Christopher, however, they provide mastery: of his intellectual capabilities, as well as of the outside world. Mathematics is a way for Christopher to set himself apart in a positive way from other people, and fuels his brain. Additional examples of symbolism / motifs and imagery are discussed in the complete study guide.
Activity 4: Reader as Critic: Evaluating the novel
I enjoyed reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time because the author, Mark Haddon, used such an engaging writing style. The use of the first person for the narrator allowed the readers to connect with the main character at a deep level and to understand his disease of Asperger's Syndrome. This point of view encourages the reader to empathize with the character and to experience his overwhelming mix of emotions. In addition, the use of graphics and illustrations was an interesting way of portraying how Christopher thinks. Lastly, the book being written in first person had both advantages and disadvantages.Â In conclusion, the book has many interesting aspects that allow you to understand the main character Christopher whether it may be the graphics or being written in the first person narration by an autistic person. Even though this book is written well in first person but it has advantages and disadvantages. I look forward to reading the next part section of the novel.
Activity 5: Reader as Questioner: Thinking of What You Want to Know or Discuss
1. One of the unusual aspects of the novel is its inclusion of many maps and diagrams. How effective are these in helping the reader see the world through Christopher's eyes?
2. Given Christopher's aversion to being touched, can he experience his parents' love for him, or can he only understand it as a fact, because they tell him they love him? Is there any evidence in the novel that he experiences a sense of attachment to other people?
3. On pages 45ââ‚¬"48, Christopher describes his "Behavioral Problems" and the effect they had on his parents and their marriage. What is the effect of the dispassionate style in which he relates this information?
4. What challenges does The Curious Incident present to the ways we usually think and talk about characters in novels? How does it force us to reexamine our normal ideas about love and desire, which are often the driving forces in fiction? Since Mark Haddon has chosen to make us see the world through Christopher's eyes, what does he help us discover about ourselves?