Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time Essay Example


In the book, Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone struggles to enjoy his favourite activities like high-level math and solving problems because of his deceitful and immoral parents. Due to his autism, Christopher cannot understand others thoughts or empathize for anyone. Through several events in the story, Christopher’s father, Ed Boone, shows a caring relationship with his son, doing what’s best for him. However, he made some controversial decisions like lying to Christopher about the death of Mrs. Shears dog. As well, hiding the fact that his mom never died and is still alive. Christopher’s parents hinder his ability to flourish and have a normal childhood.

The story begins in the backyard of Mrs. Shears, Christopher’s neighbour. Christopher notices Mrs. Shears dog lying dead with a garden fork through his stomach. This incident leads Christopher into a long investigation. He would go door to door in his neighbourhood asking people if they saw anything, but no one knew what happened. Ed does not want Christopher to find out that he murdered the dog, he says to him, “You are not to go asking anyone about who killed that bloody dog… You are to stop this ridiculous bloody detective game right now.”(Haddon, 50) Despite this, he continues to speak with neighbours and friends realizing that his father could have been the one that killed the dog. Later on, Ed confesses to Christopher that he killed the dog. Christopher reveals a lack of faith in his father when he says, “That meant he could murder me, because I couldn’t trust him.”(122). Christopher determines that his personal safety is his top priority, so he leaves his house in the middle of the night to sleep in Mrs. Shears shed. Ed has lost all of Christopher’s trust and love for him, something he should have thought of before making two controversial decisions. 

Problematic choice

Ed’s other problematic choice was hiding from Christopher how his mom Judy, had left their family. He previously told him that his mother had died of a heart attack. While investigating the mystery of the dead dog, Christopher speaks with Mrs. Alexander, an elderly lady living across the street. She informs him that Judy and Mr. Shears once had some sexual relations, she says, “I mean that they were very good friends. Very, very good friends.”(60) This contradicts Christophers prior thought that his mom had passed away. This discussion intrigues him into thinking his father might have been lying all these years.

One day after school, Christopher finds a series of letters from his mother to him. He is furious with his father and will not talk to him. Christopher feels a sense of betrayal from his father. Knowing that the one parent and role model Christopher has looked up to all these years has lied to him on the highest level must be devastating, more so for a kid. When Christopher finds the letters, Ed unveils his thoughts when he states, “I want you to know that you can trust me… God knows, I try, Christopher...Life is difficult you know.”(120) Consequently, Christopher heads on a journey to find his mother in London.

It has been a while since Christopher last saw his mother. He remembers her as being a loving and caring mother. Nevertheless, she could not deal with the negative effects of Christopher’s autism. In one of Judy’s letters, she writes about one time when she and Christopher were out shopping for his grandma’s Christmas present. Christopher was terrified of how many people there were in the store. Judy proceeds to calm him down but he started to have a temper tantrum. She claims, “you just lay on the floor and screamed and banged your hands and feet on the floor.”(107) To make matters worse, they had to walk home because Christopher would have freaked out if they went on a crowded bus.

Eventually, Christopher meets Judy in London after leaving his father behind because of anger and disappointment. She is delighted to see Christopher after all these years. Although, she continues to show signs of incapability of dealing with Christopher's issues. He is outraged when Judy tells him that he can only take his math exam next year, the story says, “I screamed for a long time and the pain in my chest hurt so much that it was hard to breathe.”(206) Judies role in the story emphasizes just how difficult raising a child with autism can be. 

Evidently, Christopher’s parents are a hindrance to his path towards independence. By receiving poor parenting from his mother and misleading thoughts from his father, Christopher was unable to enjoy his favourite activities like high-level math and problem-solving. Therefore, the novel gives us an inside look at the demanding responsibilities a parent has dealing with a child of autism.

 

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