THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Analysis of prose

1. Title

The book I read is called The curious incedent of the dog in the night-time, it was written by Mark Haddon. The book is called like this because the conflict in this book the happening is that a dog was killed at midnight this happened in a curious way.

2. Plot.

This book is about Christopher Boone, he is fifteen years old and is autistic. He lives with his father and his rat Toby in Swindon.
The book starts when Christopher finds the murdered dog Wellington on the lawn of Mrs Shears house. He goes over to the dog to hug him, because he likes dogs, when Mrs Shears comes out of her house and sees that her dog is murdered. Of course she assumes that Christopher did it and she calls the police. When they arrive, Christopher lays rolled up in the grass, because Mrs Shears screamed at him and this scared him. The officer asks him a lot of questions, through which he gets very confused and stays on the ground. Then the officer lifts him on his feet, but because Christopher does not like it when people touch him, he hits the officer. He is then arrested for assault and taken to the police station. There they call his father and after a short talk he only gets a warning. While driving back home he tells his father that he wants to find out who the killer is. His father gets very upset and tells him to stay out of other people's business. He decides to do it anyways, because he does not know what his father means by 'other people's business'. He investigates Mrs Shear's garden and asks many people in his street if they have seen anything. He father finds out though and makes him promise to stop his investigation.
A few days later he meets Mrs Alexander, an old lady that lives across the street, at the shop. He asks her some questions despite the promise that he maid and she tells him that his mother and Mr Shears had an affair. He writes it all down in his book, but then forgets the next day that he put the book on the kitchen table. When his father comes home, he finds the book and get really angry. They get in a bad fight and both receive some punches. After the fight, he hears his father throwing his book in the dustbin.
The day after their fight his father apologizes to him and Christopher decides to still continue writing his book, because he likes it so much. He looks into the dustbin first, but when it is not there, he goes through his whole house to find it. Eventually, he looks in his father's bedroom and finds his book in the cupboard. Underneath his book he finds a stack of letters, which are all addressed to him. He reads one and discovers that they are all from his mom. They are very confusing though, because she talks about things she never did before she died, two years earlier. He deduces that the letters must be for another Christopher, but to be sure, he reads four other letters a few days later. While reading the fourth letter, he realizes that his mother is still alive and his father lied to him. His mother left because she started a relationship with Mr Shears. He gets really sick and wakes up a few hours later, when his father comes home. His father sees that he read the letters and apologizes. Then he tells him that he killed Wellington in anger, because Mrs Shears and he had an argument. Christopher gets very frightened and decides that he has to run away to his mom, because he cannot trust his father anymore.
That night, he hides in his garden. In the morning, he waits until his father leaves to search for him and then he starts to walk to his school, to ask his teacher how he can get to the train station. When he gets to his school, he sees his father's van parked outside, so he asks a strange lady where the train station is. This scares him a lot already, because he does not like strangers or going to places he has never been before. He makes his way to the train station and then through it, where it is very crowded. He gets scared because of all the people, so he sits at a table for more than two hours. When he looks up, there is a policeman in front of him. The officer helps him to use his pin card and to buy a ticket. A few minutes later, he gets on the train to London.
On the train, while searching for a place to sit, the officer comes looking for him again. He tries to take him to his father, but at that point the train takes off, so they have to wait for the next stop. When Christopher goes to the toilet on the train, he sees a few shelves with cases on them and he hides in there. When the train stops, the officer cannot find him and gets off the train.
After being on the shelve for half an hour the train reaches London, and Christopher gets off. There are still policemen looking for him, so he walks straight to the information stand. The lady behind the desk tells him which tube to take. He then starts walking and imagines that there is a red line on the floor, telling him where to go, because this makes him feel calmer. He figures out how to buy a ticket and where to go by observing signs and other people. When he gets into the metro station, the noise of the metro scares him a lot. He therefore sits on a bench for five hours, after which he stands up because there are less people. He then discovers that Toby, his rat, escaped from his pocket. He looks for him and almost gets killed while getting on the tracks to catch Toby. A man saves him and he decides to take the next metro. After arriving at the right stop, he gets off the metro, buys a map and walks to his mother's house. When he gets there (around eleven) she is not home, so he waits. After a while his mother and Mr Shears come home. She is of course very happy to see him again and after he tells her that his father lied about her, she says he can stay as long as he wants.
After living with his mother for a while, they go back to Swindon together to sort things out with his father. It does not get better at first though and his mother and Mr Shears break up. In the end, his father gets the chance to rally apologize and he gets Christopher a dog, which he calls Sandy. He concludes his book with the belief that he can do anything he wants, because he solved the mystery of the curious incident and he was very brave while being on his own.

3. Structure
As many things in this book, a simple thing like chapter numbers is made unique. The chapters are numbered with prime numbers. Therefore, the numbering goes like this: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29 etc. Another structural thing that attracts attention is the use of the two different types of chapters (see: §6). The chapters that have nothing to do with the storyline are clearly separated from the chapters that do. They also succeed each other, so one chapter is about the story, the next about Christopher's personality, the next about the story again and so one.

4. setting
The story takes place around April 1998. I know this because of the postmark Christopher talks about on page 123.
The biggest part of the story takes place in Swindon and another part takes place in London and between London and Swindon.

5. point of view
The whole story is told from Christopher's point of view (so a first person narrative). He also tells the reader in chapter seven that he actually wrote this book, because he wanted to write a murder mystery novel, but that it is about his own life because he cannot make up a story that did not actually happen. The effect that you get is that you get full insight in his complicated mind, that turns out to be not as complicated as you would expect from an autistic person. I really like these kinds of books about "different" people, because you really feel like you learn about the way these people think, instead of reading about a person that thinks just like you do yourself.

6. time
This book is chronologically told. It begins with a happening and after that comes something what is happened later in time. As far as I know there are no flash backs in this book, there are also no flash forwards.

7. Theme
I think the message of the author is: People with autism are not as 'weird' as you may think when you see how they act, because there is definitely a kind of logic behind their actions.
In everyday life, people with autism are often seen by the outside world as being really weird. People often think that autistic people act on strange impulses or things like that. The author shows here that Christopher's actions come from very logic reasoning. For instance, sometimes he sits on the floor and groans. Other people can find this very disturbing, but he only does it when he gets confused and needs to close off from the world for a while. I personally think this is very logical, because normal people do this as well sometimes, but just in a different way.

8. characters
The main character is Christopher John Francis Boone. He is 15 years old and has Asperger's Syndrome. Therefore, he is very good at math, has a photographic memory, does not like the colors yellow and brown and lacks important social skills. The way he acts can be very weird for the people around him, but he is actually a very logic person. If you read what his reasoning is behind different things, you cannot do anything but agree with him. Christopher is a bit off a tragic character because there happen a lot of things that are really sad, for example his father lets him believe that his mother died. This wasn’t true, she just got a divorce and moved out. Also he has rows with his father, and of course Wellington died.
Christopher is a round character because he surprised me in the way with reacting to different situations. He is very believable because I think that there are persons who are very much like him.
Beside Christopher you also have his father, his mother and Sibahn. These are flat characters because they are the same in the whole book so they don’t change.

9. ending
The ending in this book is both happy and sad because he found out who the killer of the dog is, but at the same time he found out that that is the same person as his father. The ending is open, Christopher finds out who is the murderer of the dog but what is not told is where Christopher is going to live.

10. tone
The writer is in this story serious, he doesn’t try to make us laugh or cry and I think he just wants to let us know how it is to be autistic.
The writer doesn’t put up a specific tone towards the reader.

11. personal response
I don´t often read books, but when I do most of the time it´s in order to school. But this book wasn´t like all those stupid books, it was even a pleasure to read this book. It was awesome to recognize things that happen in this book that you know from the real life. My opinion: Awesome book!

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