“The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-time” (Text Response)

This is a text response of the book “The Cursious incident of the Dog in the night-time”

The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time


The writer, Mark Haddon, who wrote ‘The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time’ purposely wrote it from a child with Asperger’s perspective.  Through this the reader is able to gain an understanding of what people with Aspergers have to go through every day of their life. With this understanding the reader feels more sympathetic and more accepting towards people with this disorder. We are able to put ourselves into Chris’s shoes while reading the book.


Asperger’s Syndrome is a very complex disorder. Christopher shows the readers how hard it is to live with this disorder. One of his many traits of Asperger’s is his inability to understand emotions. Not only does he not understand emotions, e.g. feelings, but he does not realise that other people have emotions either. Mark Haddon shows the readers this by illustrating facial expressions at the start if the book. Christopher explains that he does not realise the emotional side of people.


Christopher is a very literal teenager. This is because of Asperger’s. In the text Chris explains that he does not understand metaphors. This is because he takes the sentence literally and doesn’t understand that it has another meaning. An example of this in the text is the sentence’ They had a skeleton in the cupboard’ (page 19). This means that they had a secret kept from others. In Christopher’s perspective he thinks that there is actually a skeleton in the cupboard.


Another disadvantage of Christopher taking everything literally is that he is unable to understand jokes and sarcasm.  He also can’t understand jokes and sarcasm because of the fact that he doesn’t know what the term funny means or how to laugh because of his inability of understanding of emotions.  Mark Haddon has shown the readers this trait to warn them of what is said to people with Asperger’s Syndrome because some words may be taken in the wrong way.


In the text Christopher must always follow a routine. This means that his days of the week, excluding weekends, are planned out so Christopher knows exactly what he is doing. Some things that are included in this scheduled week is brushing teeth, going to school and going to sleep.


Mark Haddon explains to the readers that it is hard to control people with Asperger’s Syndrome because you must tell them specifically everything you want them to do. An example of this is if a child with Asperger’s was told to be quiet they would have to tell them in detail which would be ‘be quiet for ten minutes and don’t talk to anyone in the room until the ten minutes is up’. If the child was only told to be quiet he would keep asking questions like for how long etc. The readers gain knowledge of this from the text. This can be helpful when dealing with these situations so you won’t lose your temper or become impatient.


Throughout the novel Christopher explains what he has to go through for his whole life. Mark Haddon has captured the main traits of Asperger’s Syndrome to change the world’s thoughts on people with Asperger’s Syndrome.


           By Gianni Galioto

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