PLOT SUMMARY 15-year-old Christopher Boone (mildly autistic) is the narrator; and the story is told in a journal form from his point of view. Christopher discovered his neighbor’s dead dog one night and started to try to solve the mystery; but assaulted a police officer and got a warning. After many events, he discovers that his dad killed the dog named Wellington, whose owner, Mrs. Shears, used to have a romantic affair with him. He also learned that his mother who is “dead” also had a love affair going on with Mr. Shears.
PLOT SUMMARY CONT.. Christopher also plans to take an A-level math exam, which no other student was able to do. In his father’s room, he found a box full of his mother’s letters addressed to him. He became terrified of his father, and ran away to London to live with his mother. Tension and frustration built up between his mother and Mr. Shears, so she and Christopher moved to an apartment.
CHARACTERIZATION Protagonist: Christopher Antagonist: Mr. and Mrs. Shears, Christopher’s father. Flat Character: Toby and Siobhan. Round Character: Christopher Static Character: Mr. and Mrs. Shears, Siobhan, Mrs. Alexander. Dynamic Character : Christopher, his parents.
THEME It’s better not to lie because eventually all the truth will be discovered. Patience is key. Family comes first. Teenagers want to be independent.
MOTIF Frustration: o Christopher is very hard to deal with, and difficult to understand. Animals: o Christopher finds them easier to deal with than people. Red and yellow cars: o 4 red cars in a row = good day o 4 yellow cars in a row = black day o Own way of thinking.
SYMBOLISM The murder investigation: o Represents Christopher’s search for the truth of his mother and father. Puzzles and math problems: o Represents Christopher’s preference for logic, order, and clarity. Used in times when he can’t think clearly. Finger touching: o Love between Christopher and parents
PLOT ELEMENTS – TYPES OF CONFLICT Man vs. Man Man vs. Self Man vs. Society
PLOT ELEMENTS - STRUCTURE Exposition: Christopher lives in Swindon with his father, as an autistic child. Rising Action: Christopher investigates the Wellington mystery and discovers that Mr. Shears and his mother had an affair, Mrs. Shears and his father had one also, his mother is alive, and his father killed the dog. Climax: Christopher goes on a journey to London and reunites with his mother. Falling Action: Christopher’s mother moves back to Swindon into an apartment with him, and he successfully completes his A level maths. Resolution: Christopher begins to reestablish trust with his father and gets a puppy.
POINT OF VIEW The book was written in first person by Christopher John Francis Boone. It was originally Siobhan’s idea for him to write a book, and he liked the thought.
SETTING Time: 1998 Place: mostly in Swindon, England; but also London, England. Zeitgeist: VARIES! It changes from happy to sad to determination to fright, etc.
LIKE/DISLIKE I really liked this book! It kept me interested from the beginning to the end, especially with a very different and unique point of view. I even got frustrated with Christopher’s behavior throughout the book, so I only imagine what the actual characters felt.
CLASSIC? The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I think, is a classic! It is read in many classes as a requirement, such as AP Psychology. It is very easy to read, but also has more in depth meaning when you pay close attention.
MARK HADDON Mark Haddon was born in Northampton, England in 1962. He studied English at Oxford, but became a carer for the disabled. Now, he is a vegetarian and a very strong atheist. Some of his works include: Boom!, and Walking on The Moon.
AUTISM “Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, which affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.” 1 out of 88 children can have autism. Much more common in males than females. Many people on the autism spectrum have incredible visual, music, and academic skills. Most cases of autism appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors.
MOVIE?!?! There has been some talk about there being a movie based on the book for a while now. The movie is currently in the planning stage. The person most associated with directing the upcoming movie is Steve Kloves, most probably known from the Harry Potter Series.
WORKS CONSULTED "Biography of Mark Haddon (1962-)." Grade Saver. GradeSaver LLC, n.d. Web. 7 Jan 2014. Dog in the Night. 2012. Painting. The Most Illustrious Order of the BookwormsWeb. 7 Jan 2014. McNamee, Claire. "Mark Haddon." British Council Literature. British Council. Web. 7 Jan 2014. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., n.d. Web. 7 Jan 2014. "What Is Autism?." Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks Inc., n.d. Web. 7 Jan 2014.