A:        Facts

1.      Technical information

The Curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Mark Haddon

Vintage, 2003

272

I rid this book in four days, especially on school in study hours.

2.      Setting

a)      Time: in which time is the story set?

Present

The story take place around 1997/1998.

“It was quite difficult to read, but it said “…” with meant that the letter was posted on 16th October 1997, which was 18 months after Mother had died.”

b)   Time: how much time does the story take? Does it take hours, months, years?

I think the story takes a couple of weeks. Maybe two or three months.

I can’t find any quotes that could illustrate that, because he doesn’t talk a lot about days, weeks and months.

c)   Place: Where is the story set?

Christopher lives in Swindon, with his father. His mother lives in London and Christopher is going to be there also.

The social background is average, in my opinion. They live in a normal house with a normal income, because Christopher’s father is heating engineer. The use of language is not chic so that can also point to an average background.

Swindon

There is not a university in our town, which is Swindon, because it is a small place. So we will have to move to another town where there is a university because I don't want to live on my own or in a house with other students. But that will be all right because Father wants to move to a different town as well. He sometimes say things like, "We've got to get out of this town, kiddo." And sometimes he says, "Swindon is the arsehole of the world."

London

“And then I thought that I could go and live with Mother because she was my family and I knew where she lived because I could remember the address from the letters, which was 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG. Except that she lived in London and I'd never been to London before.”

3.      Characters

a) Main Characters:

Protagonist: Christopher Boone

Antagonist: Christopher’s father

Third character: Christopher’s mother

Christopher Boone is the protagonist of this story, and a main character, because the whole story is about him. He is also the known writer. Christopher is fifteen years old, and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s also got a photographic memory. Because he has got autism, he has got a lot of “Behaviour Problems”. For example:he does not like yellow and brown things, he doesn’t like to be touched (then he hits the person who touched him), he screams of groans when he is angry, confused of frightened. Christopher is very good at maths and is interested in a lot of things, other people would not even think of. He is also a thinker: he thinks very much about the world and people. “This was because of the stress of looking after someone who has Behavioural Problems like I have. I used to have lots of Behavioural Problems, but I don't have so many now because I'm more grown up and I can take decisions for myself and do things on my own like going out of the house and buying things at the shop at the end of the road.”

Christopher’s father is a really patient man. He is sympathetic, and he always looks after Christopher. Sometimes he loses his patience and then he gets angry, but most of the time, he just curses when that happens. He is heating engineer. “But Father was a more level-headed person, which means he didn't get angry as quickly and he didn't shout as often. So I was very surprised when he grabbed me.”

Christopher’s mother is less patient than his father. That is a reason why she didn’t find it so hard to leave and go to London with Mr Shears. She always had fights with Christopher and she thought that he and his father would better off without her. “Mother had hit me sometimes because she was a very hot-tempered person, which means that she got angry more quickly than other people and she shouted more often.”

b)  Siobhan, Mrs Shears, Mr Shears, Mrs Alexander, Rhodri, Reverend Peters.

4.      Title

a)      Because Christopher wants to write a murder mystery novel. This title is mysterious and it is about the murder of Wellington. Without the dog being death, Christopher would probably not be started with writing a book. It is a long title, and “in the night-time” is not really important. That’s how the whole book is written.

b)      “I decided that the dog was probably killed with the fork because I could not see any other wounds in the dog and I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer for example, or a road accident. But I could not be certain about this.”

B:        Your opinion

1. Which character did you like best?

a)      Christopher’s father

b)      His father is so patient. He cannot understand Christopher a hundred per cent, but he does understand him for a large part. It is touching how he treats his son.

c)    “And then Father nodded and he didn't say anything for a short while. Then he said "Thank you."

And I said, "What for?"

And he said, "Just. . . thank you."

2. Which character did you dislike?

a)      Mr Shears

b)      Mr Shears doesn’t understand Christopher. That is no sin, but he does not even try to understand him or treat him like a real person.

c)      “And then I was tired from screaming and Mother took me back to the flat in another taxi and the next morning was Saturday and she told Mr Shears to go out and get me some books about science and maths from the library, and they were called 100 Number Puzzles and The Origins of the Universe and Nuclear Power, but they were for children and they were not very good so I didn't read them, and Mr Shears said, "Well, it's nice to know my contribution is appreciated."

3. What did you feel when you read the story?

a)      I felt excited and touched.

b)      Excited

I felt pretty excited when I was reading this story, because it was written so good. It is really hard to empathize so well in a total different person, and Mark Haddon did. I just learned a lot about having autism and thinking about the world. The book includes a lot of philosophical thoughts and I liked that a lot.

Touched

I think some parts are really moving. Like the parts where Christopher’s father tries to through to Christopher but it does not succeeds. Finally, it does a bit.

c)      Excited

Chapter 83

Touched

“And then he held up his right hand and spread his fingers out in a fan so that I could touch his fingers, but I didn't because I was frightened.

And Father said, "Shit. Christopher, please."

And there were tears dripping off his face.

And no one said anything for a while.”

 

4. What is your favourite part?

a)      “And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? and I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.”

b)      This is the end of the book. Christopher is going to do Further maths, he and his father are going to speak to each other again, he has got a dog called Sandy and he has self-confidence.

c)      I think this is one of the best parts because it shows that autistics are not complete strange and stupid, like a lot of people think. It shows that Christopher can do something and he also aware of that. It is also satisfactory that it is presumably going to be alright between Christopher and his father.

5.      Message

a)      What can you, as a reader, learn from the book?

People with autism are not as weird and maladaptive as you think.

b)     How can you learn this message from the story?

Christopher does things in the book that outsiders would call weird or bothersome. But the things he does are in some way just really logical. For example: he always groans and sits/lays on the floor if he has got too much information into his head to digest.

A little other message is that people should start thinking about the world. He thinks a lot and he calls others stupid because they don’t observe.

c)      “And I put my hands in my pockets and Toby climbed into my hand and I gave him two pellets of rat food from my bag and I gripped the Swiss Army knife in the other hand, and I groaned to cover up the noise because I had taken my hands off my ears, but not so loud that other people would hear me groaning and come and talk to me.”

6.      Opinion

This book is written so good. I don’t understand how you can write a book about a person who is so different as we are. I think the book includes a lot of humour, but it’s also a little bit sad, because Christopher doesn’t understand a lot  of the world and the people in it. It is easy written and that makes you want to keep reading. 

C:        The Summary

Chapters 2 & 5 & 11 & 17 & 23 & 31

Christopher founds a dog (Wellington) lying on the grass with a garden fork sticking in his chest. The dog is dead, and Christopher concludes that is it probably killed. He wonders who should have done this, and why. He hugs the dog until Mrs Shears – who is the owner of the dog – comes out of her house and screams. She thinks that Christopher has killed the dog. He is scared of her and lays with his head on the grass. The police arrives. Christopher likes police men, because they do exactly what they are supposed to do. The police man asks him questions, but he does this too fast and there are too many questions. Christopher rolls back to the grass and when the police man lifts him, he hits him. That’s because he don’t like to be touched. He has to come with the police man to the police offer, and he does not mind. He just looks at the Milky Way during the rit. There he has to empty his pockets. He likes his police cell, because it is a perfect cube. Father comes and Christopher may go, but if he does something like hitting again, he will come in bigger trouble.

Chapters 3 & 7 & 13 & 19 & 29 & 37

The book is about Christopher John Francis Boone. He only knows two emotions: happy and sad. The book is going to be a murder mystery novel, because he likes books like that and he wants to write about something that really happened. It’s not going to be a funny book, because Christopher does not understand jokes. The chapters are in prime numbers. Prime numbers are numbers that are just numbers that aren’t answers to any multiplies. Christopher thinks people are confusing. They communicate a lot without words, and when they talk, they talk using metaphors. Christopher does not tell lies, because he cannot.

Chapter 41

Christopher tells his father that he has not killed Wellington. Father believes this but want Christopher to stay out of other people’s business. He gets cross and says that Christopher should leave it.

Chapters 43 & 53 & 61

Mother died two years ago. Father told that she had to go to the hospital and two weeks later she died of a heart attack. Christopher has not been to the hospital to see her. He does not believe in heaven. People believe in heaven because they are afraid to die.

Chapter 47 & 59

Christopher likes to have things in a nice, logical order. He says he is not clever, but he is just noticing how things are. He starts writing this book. Christopher is going to find out who killed Wellington. He asks Mrs Shears but she does not want to talk with him, so he looks in her shed to see the garden fork, and it is in there. But Mrs Shears gets cross and sends him home.

Chapters 67 & 79

Talking to strangers it something Christopher usually does not do, because does not like people who he have never met before. But he is going to find out who killed Wellington so he has to speak. He makes a plan of the street and asks people if they have seen something suspicious. No one did. He made a Chain of Reasoning about who could have killed the dog.

When Christopher gets home, he asks his father about Mrs Shears, because that is his suspect. But father says he does not want to hear that name in the house and he makes Christopher promise to stop his detective work immediately.

Chapter 71

Next month, Christopher is going to have A level in Maths. He is the first one on his school doing that. He will study on a university and earn a lot of many so that he and father can live somewhere where a university is.

Chapter 73

Christopher always thought that his parents might get divorced, because of their arguments. They had arguments about him, and because of the stress of looking after someone like him.

Chapters 83 & 101 & 107 & 139

Christopher thinks that he should be a good astronaut, because he likes being alone and he won’t be homesick. Christopher likes maths because he likes to solve problems. Christopher’s favourite book is The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is a detective story, like his own story and it is a Sherlock Holmes book. But he do not like the writer of this book, Arthur Conan Doyle because he believed in Supernatural.

Chapters 89 & 97 & 103

Christopher tells Siobhan that he must stop with his book, because he promised his father. It is a black day (four yellow cars in a row) so he does not speak and eat. The day after, it is a black day too. Five days later is was a super good day (five red cars in a row). Christopher talks to Mrs Alexander. He asks her why his father says that Mr Shears is an Evil man. She tells him that his mother cheated on his father with Mr Shears, and that is the reason that Mr Shears left Mrs Shears. When he got home, Rhodri was there. He works for father. Christopher went to the garden. Siobhan told him to put descriptions of things in the book and he describes the garden.

Chapters 109 & 127 & 137

On school, Christopher tells Siobhan about his mother’s affair with Mr Shears. She says that he should tell it if he feels sad about it, but he cannot because it is not happening anymore.

When he gets home, he puts his book on the table. Father gets home and asks what it is, and gets very angry. He grabs Christopher and Christopher hits him. Father threw him against the wall. Later, he felt sorry for this. They went to the zoo.

Chapter 113

Christopher has got a memory like a film. He can press rewind and fast forward and pause. He uses this for situation where he does not know what to do.

Chapter 131

There are some reasons that Christopher does not like the colours brown and yellow. Some people think that is silly, but Siobhan tells it is just like liking one food more than the other.

Chapters 149 & 157 & 167

Christopher want to have his book back and goes searching it. He finds it in a shirt box in his father’s room, and he also find letters that are all addressed to him. He opens one and it is from his mother, and it is written to him after she died. He is confused. A couple of days later, he goes back to his father’s room and reads the other letters too. His mother is not dead, his father lied about her death. She is just living in London with Mr Shears and she left him and his father alone. She thought that would be better for all of them. His father comes in and sees the letters. He cries. He touches Christopher but Christopher do not hit him. Father tells Christopher that he has killed Wellington and he explains why. Christopher is frightened of him and in the night, he goes away and sleeps in the garden.

Christopher want to have his book back and goes searching it. He finds it in a shirt box in his father’s room, and he also find letters that are all addressed to him. He opens one and it is from his mother, and it is written to him after she died. He is confused. A couple of days later, he goes back to his father’s room and reads the other letters too. His mother is not dead, his father lied about her death. She is just living in London with Mr Shears and she left him and his father alone. She thought that would be better for all of them. His father comes in and sees the letters. He cries. He touches Christopher but Christopher do not hit him. Father tells Christopher that he has killed Wellington and he explains why. Christopher is frightened of him and in the night, he goes away and sleeps in the garden.

Chapter 163 & 181 & 193 & 199

In the past, Christopher did not understand that people had minds, too. Now they know they have, and he thinks it’s like a puzzle. And when it is, there must be a way to solve it. Christopher sees everything in places he have never been. That is very tiring. He likes to make timetables, so that he knows exactly what is going to happen. If he does not, he is scared to get lost in time. Christopher thinks people believe in God because they think the world is too complicated.

Chapter 179 & 191 & 197

After the night, Christopher decides to go and live with Mrs Shears, but she is not at home. He decides to go to London to live with his mother. He asks Mrs Alexander to look after his pet rat Toby, but she asks difficult questions and he goes home to get his father’s cashpoint card. He goes to school to find out where the train station was, but father was there so he asked a stranger. He goes into the train station. He sits on the station and a police man asks him if he is alright. He helps him to get some money and a ticket. Christopher goes to Platform 1 and gets into the train to London. There are a lot of people in the train, and he does not like that. Then, the police men comes into the train and tells him that his father is searching for him. Christopher goes to the toilet and hides after a shelve where nobody can see him.

Chapters 211 & 227

Christopher gets out of the train when he is in London and asks where he should go. He has to go to a metro station underground. There are too much people and he starts groaning. He waits a long time and finally gets into a tube. When he is where he has to be, he buys a map and goes to mothers house. Mother is excited to see him. A police man comes and father comes but Christopher does not want to speak with father and he goes away.

Chapter 233

Mother and Mr Shears has a big argument about him and about a lot of things. Finally, mother and Christopher borrow Mr Shears’ car and go back to Swindon. Christopher is going to do his A level maths. He is still frightened of father and he and mother go to another house in Swindon. But father wants it to be good again and he speaks with Christopher. He says they can slowly rebuild their relationship. He gives Christopher a dog to look after at. Christopher thinks about the future and thinks it is going to be alright because he can do anything.

Introduction

There is not really a usual introduction, because the book starts with the initial incident. But you can call the second chapter an introduction, because that is where Christopher introduces himself. “My name is Christopher John Francis Boon.”

Initial incident

The first chapter is the initial incident. Christopher founds the dog Mrs Shears killed with a fork.

Rising action

The rising action starts at chapter 59 (chapters are in prime numbers). Christopher decides to find out who killed Wellington. He goes to the house of Mrs Shears and asks about Wellington. After that, he goes to her shed to look if the fork is in there, but she makes him go away.

Climax

The climax is in chapter 167. Christopher now knows that his mother is alive and that his father lied to him. Then his father tells him that he has killed Wellington. “I killed Wellington, Christopher.”

But there are probably more climaxes because there are more storylines. So maybe it is when Christopher arrives in London and sees his mother again.

Falling action

Christopher and his mother come back to Swindon because “Mother” doesn’t want to live with Mr Shears anymore. Christopher is still frightened of his father, so  he and his mother move to another house.

Conclusion

Christopher gets a dog. He is going to talk a little more with his father to rebuild their relation. He is going to do Further Maths and he dreams a little of his future. “And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? and I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.”

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