The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

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Is uniqueness and originality in a novel enough to make one great? I believe that in order for this to be the case both need to be executed well. Mark Haddon in his novel, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time’ (‘Curious Incident’) executes uniqueness in such a way that it successfully creates empathy and understanding in the reader. This is done through the unique voice of the narrator who is a child with Aspergers. Haddon’s novel is not a narrative concerned with ‘overcoming’ a disability but rather about finding ways to co-exist with one. His novel is great because it allows the reader to step into a worldview that they wouldn’t usually have access to. He achieves this successfully through literary techniques and quotes as evidence, ultimately exploring themes regarding Aspergers and relationships. In this essay I will explore how through a unique perspective Mark Haddon has produced a great novel. Haddon firstly highlights and explores the theme of Aspergers syndrome through the novel’s perspective. The narrator of the text is Christopher Boone, a young boy who has this syndrome. By using this perspective the author creates a unique worldview (or allows us into a unique worldview?) and allows us insight into a perspective that is original, ultimately allowing readers to understand and see into his condition on a personal level. For example, although the novel is a murder mystery, roughly half of the chapters digress from this main plot to give us Christopher’s thoughts and feelings on certain issues and thus we consistently see Christopher’s- the narrator’s stream of consciousness on display rather than the text focusing wholly on the mystery itself. “It was seven minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shear’s house. Its eyes were closed.” From this opening quote we notice the use of specific? Detail and ultimately begin to catch a glimpse of the novels unique narrative style. As the...
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