The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Play
When accessing content use the numbers below to guide you
Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)
Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language
Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)
Weblinks - the Play
Weblinks - Autism
- inability to imagine the thoughts and feelings of other people
- cannot empathize
- cannot imagine what another person is thinking
- cannot read people’s expressions
- difficulty understanding metaphors
- fixation on certain topics
- gifted in math and science but severely underequipped socially
- dislikes social interaction and avoids it when possible
- recognizes the ways he differs from most people and feels keenly aware of these differences
- lives as an outsider as social interactions seen as pointless
- very few friends and doesn’t trust other people
- remarkably accurate memory allows him to recall an entire event in extraordinary detail, uses this skill to navigate social interactions by memorizing a chart of facial expressions and the emotions associated with them
- often goes to extremes when demonstrating his emotions, occasionally blowing up in anger
- lacks the confidence to work through his problems verbally
- has very few friends—Rhodri is the only one the novel mentions
- emotionally devastated by the way his relationship with his wife (Christopher’s mother) ended two years earlier
- suppresses emotions until he explodes in anger during stressful situations
- lovingly and diligently cares for Christopher
- struggles with the frustration he feels as a result of not always being able to understand Christopher’s behaviour
- extremely protective of Christopher
- desires to punish Christopher’s mother for the way she left leads him to lie to Christopher about mother’s leaving
- fearful that his relationship with Christopher is deteriorating as more lies are exposed
- must work to regain Christopher’s trust and reestablish a relationship with Christopher
- For most of the novel, our only view of Christopher’s mother comes through Christopher’s memories
- Christopher remembers her as:
- loving but impatient
- prone to breakdowns in the face of his tantrums
- unable to cope with the harsh realities of Christopher’s condition
- possibly depressed
- Judy receives a momentary turn as the narrator
- only instance in the novel when see a first-person point of view other than Christopher’s
- In her letters:
- she exhibits the patience that she lacked in her face-to-face interactions with him
- tells Christopher in the letters that she left him and his father because she thought they would be happier without her
- intense frustration she felt with Christopher and her inability to deal with his behavior
- In person:
- strong-willed and independent
- still finds dealing with Christopher extremely difficult because of his rigid needs and sometimes inappropriate behaviour
- loves Christopher but also has doubts about her ability to take care of him
- Christopher’s primary teacher
- most understanding adult of Christopher’s needs and strengths
- explains appropriate social behavior in a way that helps Christopher and respects his intelligence
- Christopher often references Siobhan’s advice when navigating difficult situations
- Helps Christopher with writing his mystery book
- gives Christopher detailed instructions about his behavior
- Christopher appreciates her which explains why Christopher seems to trust Siobhan and behave better with her than any other characters
- interactions offer an insightful contrast to Christopher’s tumultuous relationship with his parents
This guide has been created for year 10 students who are doing a close study of the play "A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time".
The following video is a short documentary exploring the way in which the book was adapted for the stage.
The following video is from the ABCs The Book Club, and discusses the book, rather than the play.
Coming of Age Novel
Coming of age novel:
Bildungsroman is the combination of two German words: Bildung, meaning "education," and Roman, meaning "novel." Fittingly, a "bildungsroman" is a novel that deals with the formative years of the main character - in particular, his or her psychological development and moral education. The bildungsroman usually ends on a positive note with the hero's foolish mistakes and painful disappointments over and a life of usefulness ahead.
- A search for meaning by the protagonist, who is usually foolish and inexperienced at the beginning of the narrative. The story typically centers on the maturation process of a single person.
- Some kind of inciting incident that pushes the protagonist into their journey. It's usually something akin to a great emotional loss, like the death of a parent.
- The journey will not be easy. In fact, there will be many failures along the way. The hero will be tested, and he will fight tooth and nail to survive the unwavering rules and limits of society.
- Usually an epiphany, or a flashing moment where the hero finally 'gets it.' This lucidity changes them as a person. They learn what it takes to be a grown up in the real world.
- The hero will eventually find his place in society by accepting its values and rules. The ending isn't necessarily about closure. We often do not know exactly what's going to happen to the hero. We do know that he has grown as a person from page one, and at the very least he is equipped with the maturity and knowledge to have a chance in life.