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April 03, 2006

Curious Part 2

Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 2 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

On pages 130 and 131, I really enjoy how the author included graphic organizers to SHOW what decisions Chris had to make to run away and not be near his dangerous father. I think this helps you understand Christopher's thinking and what he thinks is impossible for him to do.
A lot of graphics are in the second half of the play and I think they really do a lot for the chapters and the book in a whole. The equation on 136 that shows his two different fears is a great way of showing his intelligence and his mental way of thinking. Chris was confused and sad that he had to deal with a fear no matter what decision he chose, and because of this, his autistic symptoms of screaming and other things came out. But he eventually learned to deal with the fact that you have to take the good with the bad.


Whether you think it was a good idea for Christopher to leave and runaway from his dad, I think it was an experience that allowed for him to see new ideas and ways of life and that there will be circumstances where you will have to just deal with, like his father. His father really did love him and wanted the best for him and I think that the killing of Wellington to him was a huge mistake and an 'in the moment' type of thing.
His mother, on the other hand, also did love him, but was utterly confused and thought she couldn't deal with living with an autistic child, but deep down inside, she loved him and never meant to hurt him. I give her a lot of credit for trying to fill the years she missed with her son and she feels horrible, but I think it was a great leap in the right direction for leaving London to leave her new husband to be with her son. I think that she had to leave for a little, I am not saying I agree with her decision, but she had to do something to realize what she really needs in life and what she is capable of doing; that is raising her son who has a disability.

I want to think that Toby, the rat, and Sandy, the new dog Chris got at the end, are symbols of something in the book. I dont think Haddon added them in for fun. I just do not know what they stand for. If anyone has any idea, comment, I would love to hear what you guys think.

Posted by Denamarie at April 3, 2006 11:49 AM

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Comments

Denamarie, I kind of disagree with what you are saying. I don't know if I would want my autistic child...or child of anykind...to run away from an environment that they are familiar with. Maybe you could explain just a little more in your blog. Or maybe that's not what you meant...

I also think the symbols aren't really symbols. I think that because this book was written through the eyes of an autistic boy, he is just using his eyes and imagination to look at what he is seeing. I don't think they resemble symbols, however I could be wrong.

Posted by: ElyseBranam at April 4, 2006 12:56 AM

Elyse,
I just think that sometimes people or kids need to get out of the normal enviroment they are used to and experience new ideas and cultures. It was a great leap of courage and strength for him to leave his familiar surroundings and to explore what else the world holds for him. It allowed for him to see that not every where in the world is it the same way.

In a way we left our familiar settings by coming to college, some may be in the same type of enviroment and some may not. I know I sure came from a different enviroment coming from a city, Philadelphia, to a small town. It allows for change, just what Chris needed in his life.

Posted by: Denamarie Ercolani at April 4, 2006 12:27 PM

I see your point Dena. I agree that Christopher really grew as a person and in his character by taking that risk that changed his life.

Regarding the Toby and Sandy, that is an excellent thing to think about. Elyse feels that they don't symbolize anything and she may be right. However, I feel that perhaps as you said, Haddon put them in there for a reason maybe not as a symbol, but for some reason. Personally, what I get from them is that Christopher has trouble relating with human beings because they lie. He can't trust them. Toby the rat on the other hand never betrays him. Chris wants to feel safe, he wants to feel secure, he wants to be able to put all of his trust in someone or something. The animals make him feel safe, they comfort him. I don't know if that makes any sense but that's what I think.

I just got another idea, haha. Maybe Haddon is trying to make a comparison between Christopher and the animals. Not to sound dimeaning or crude, but Christopher seems to act more his logical thoughts than his emotions. Rats and dogs seem to do the same thing. In a way, their minds are similar, of course Christopher is much smarter than them. He's smarter than me too.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at April 4, 2006 03:42 PM

I agree, Andy. Christopher is way more logical of a thinker and I think if I thought the way he did, I would be much more organized. I think this story also shows that you don't have to just be strong to be a hero, but the honesty and courage that Christopher developed at the end of the story. I was happy he made it to London and I think he proved alot to himself and his family whether he knew it or not. I think you are right Denamarie, the dog and Toby are symbols of what he knows are trustworthy and consistent in his life. Change can be scary and I think we can all relate to Christopher somehow.

Posted by: Erin Waite at April 4, 2006 08:13 PM

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