Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time puts the reader in the position of someone who finds normal people entirely puzzling. Our narrator, the young, autistic Christopher, takes readers on an adventure as he attempts to solve the mysterious death of his neighbor’s dog, Wellington. His fear of new places and people make this journey a bumpy one—the weird social ambiguities of everyday interactions cause him the most trouble. Poor Christopher doesn’t know how to lie, nor can he comprehend why one would want to pretend; he worries about being impolite, but he will only speak the absolute truth. All the while, we find out that his own father had killed the pup; his own father told him his mother was dead, when she wasn’t. Haddon plants some large questions in the reader’s mind, for example, “Why are we more critical about the behavior of someone different than the norm?” Haddon reveals a different viewpoint from what studies on autism have shown: those normal people around Christopher lack morals, and Christopher is innocent, caring, but simply full of apprehension and, perhaps, rightfully so.
Bio: Kristen Brunelli is an intern at Guernica.