Summer Reading: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

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English

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Title

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Mark Haddon

Author

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Christopher John Francis Boone

The narrator and protagonist of the novel. Fifteen-year-old Christopher is mathematically gifted struggles for social acceptance and understanding as a result of his apparent autism. He views the world largely in absolutes, dividing his life experience into a series of extreme likes and dislikes. He feels most comfortable with logic and order, making Wellington’s murder an irresistible puzzle for him to solve. He resides with his father and pet rat Toby at 36 Randolph Street

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Christopher’s father (Ed Boone)

Single father of Christopher. Father prepares meals for Christopher and sees to his daily needs. Later on, Christopher uncovers elements of his life that he has long tried to keep hidden. Father owns a heating maintenance and boiler repair business.

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Christopher’s mother (Judy Boone)

Christopher believes she died of a heart attack prior to the time when the novel begins. Remembered as a loving but impatient and volatile woman, she was at times overwhelmed by the difficulty of caring for her troubled son.

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Mrs. Shears (Eileen Shears)

A neighbor of the Boones’s. Eileen Shears is the ex-wife of Roger Shears. Christopher remembers that she would often visit to cook meals and play scrabble in the wake of his mother’s death. The murder of her dog, Wellington, provides the major dramatic impetus for the novel.

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Mr. Shears (Roger Shears)

Estranged husband of Eileen Shears. Roger Shears once worked at a bank in town, but moved to London rather suddenly a couple of years ago, leaving Mrs. Shears behind. His mysterious nature leads Christopher to investigate him as a possible suspect in Wellington’s murder.

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Siobhan

Christopher’s primary teacher at school. An even-handed mentor, she works to expand Christopher’s horizons socially as well as academically. As a result, she is one of the few people whom Christopher trusts, and in the limited moments when the reader sees her, she mirrors the reader as an observer and commentator on Christopher’s life.

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1998 in and around the town of Swindon, England.

Where the story takes place

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Inciting Incident

Wellington gets killed

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Rising Action

Christopher finds out about the letters and truths that his father has kept hidden

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Climax

When Christopher's father said that he killed Wellington, which led to Christopher going into a downwards motion filled with bad decisions

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Falling Action

Christopher finally reunites with his mother, also Christopher's mother and father git into an argument

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Resolution

Christopher's mother and father start living in Swindon. Also, Christopher and his father start rebuilding their relationships with their dog

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Main Conflicts

The death of Wellington and the relationship between Christopehr and his father

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Main Theme

Trust: Christopher's trust for his father is broken as he tries to regain Chritopher's trust. The plot is driven by the fact that Ed has lied to his son about many things. When Christopher finds out the truth, it breaks his trust.

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"No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.”

This quote appears in Christopher’s discussion of the Cottingley fairies hoax. Christopher places great value in logic and reason, and he criticizes the various people who believed the Cottingley fairies hoax for what he sees as their irrational and illogical approach to the incident. He thinks they were not able to see through the hoax simply because they didn’t want to, meaning they preferred to believe the lie—that fairies exist—to the truth, which is that fairies aren’t real.

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