2 Sherlock HolmesThe phrase “curious incident of the dog in the night-time” comes from the Sherlock Holmes mystery entitled “Silver Blaze.” When Mr Watson, in his inimitable way, tells Holmes that the dog guarding the stables did nothing, Holmes proudly asserts, “That was the curious incident.” That the dog did not bark proves that the theft was an inside job by the trainer himself. The ‘curious incident’ thus refers to the absence of an expected reaction, in this case the dog barking at an intruder.
3 Sherlock HolmesHis importance as a character is due to the fact that we are more able to understand Christopher’s character through the comparisons that are made between him and this famous fictitious detective.Establishes the genre of murder mystery
4 Intertextuality and Curious Incident. See handout. Complete the tasks found on the handout.
5 Literary techniquesThe ‘curious incident’ is a metaphor for Christopher’s growth and determination to attain his goals.It is a multi-layered text which conveys the unravelling of Christopher’s world.Writers often plan their characters and events to convey an idea or theme about humanity.
6 Narrative ElementsTo develop your understanding of how the narrative elements shape meaning.To determine what aspects of the narrative are unusual/ distinctive.
7 Narrative ElementsLanguage, metalanguage – specific vocabulary and words and meaning.Style – Point of View and Setting.Structure – Narrative elements.ThemesKey Events.
8 Activity Structure Events Orientation Complication Sequence of events (rising action) – several points here.Climax – major turning pointFalling action – denouement.ResolutionConclusion
9 Tension GraphConstruct a tension graph on which you plot each of the main points you have listed then join the points to visually represent the structure of the novel.
10 Narrative LandscapeWere all the strands of the narrative successfully resolved for you? Explain your response.In constructing the narrative, the author has alternated each chapter that forwards the plot with a chapter that provides an insight into Christopher’s mind. Choose one of these insight chapter and:Briefly summarise the subject matterExplain the chapter’s function in the novel as a wholeList any disadvantages of this alternating-chapter narrative technique.
11 Narrative Landscape Describe the narrative ‘landscape’: How quickly does the complication of the novel take place? Is it effective in drawing you into the story?What often happens after moments of high tension or excitement? What is the effect of this?What is the climax of the story?How does the ending develop your understanding of key ideas?
12 Visual Representations Examples: p2-3, 12, 14, 35, 46, 81, 86, 95, 110, 126-7, 156-7, 162-3, 169, 173, 179, 181-3, 194, 205, 209, 211, 214, 220, 225, 227, 231, 235, 246.What general comments can you make about the types of visual representations found in the novel?
13 Visual Representations What do you think is the function of these visual texts? What do they tell us about Christopher?Did you find the inclusion of the visuals helped or hindered your understanding and appreciation of the story? Explain.
14 NarratorAuthors often use the technique of first person narrative voice to encourage the reader to identify with the narrator. It allows the reader to see what the protagonist is thinking and the way Christopher tells her story also develops her character.Think about sections of the book that you identified with Christopher? Did you understand his feelings and reactions? Write a paragraph about one episode where you identified with Christopher and explain why.
15 1st Person NarrativeWhile the first person narrative voice might allow some insight into the workings of the narrator’s mind, it can also reveal that the character’s view of his/her world is limited. If the reader identifies too closely with such a narrator we can often miss other details in the story or only interpret events and characters in the same way the narrator does. In other words, a narrator who ‘misses’ the point of what is going on around them can be described as unreliable.
16 Language and Style Asperger Trait Feature of Style Examples Logical and factual natureGood at focusing on detailDifficulty with inferring from social and emotional cuesDislike of the imaginary or fictionalPrefer routine and structure in their livesDoes repetitive actionsGood verbal skills and may sound over-preciseMay interpret words too literally
17 Features of Style Lack of figurative language Limited variety of sentence structureVerbs focus on actions and tend to be unmodified by adverbsComparisons and analogies made in terms of actual experiencePrecise description of the material worldPreponderance of simple sentences and sequential statementsComplex sentences tend to be loose rather than periodicUse of concrete language
18 Language and StyleWrite a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence:“Through his use of language Mark Haddon successfully conveys Christopher’s way of thinking.”Make sure that you support all your statements with evidence from the text.