Term Paper: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

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¶ … Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Specifically it will discuss whether Christopher actually loves his parents in the sense that people unaffected by Asperger's Syndrome feel love. Christopher does love his father, he simply cannot show it the way other people do, since he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, and he cannot deal with many emotions, feelings, and even touching. He shows his love in other ways, as the novel takes pains to illustrate.

Christopher is a complicated and simple child at the same time. He does love his father, and he shows it by touching fingers with him. His father would like to hug him, but Christopher does not like being hugged, it makes him uncomfortable. Therefore, he and his father must show their affection in different ways. Author Haddon writes, "We do this because sometimes Father wants to give me a hug, but I do not like hugging people so we do this instead, and it means that he loves me" (Haddon 16). However, it is unclear if Christopher really understands the underlying meaning of love itself. He has trouble with emotions, and is much more comfortable with finite facts. Therefore, he seems to have trouble with emotional concepts like love.

While he might feel affection in his heart for his father, and even depend on him, he might not have the actual feeling of "love" for him because he does not understand the concept behind the feeling. In fact, when his mother "dies" he seems to feel no sadness or remorse, and he reports about her death in a very mechanical way. Love is not logical, and so Christopher may not feel the same kind of emotional feelings that other people might feel when they love someone. However, he does have feelings, like happy and sad, so he is capable of some kind of emotions over things he cares about, but he does not seem to understand everything that implies.

Christopher does not understand that his father and Mrs. Shears might love each other; so again, the concept of this emotion is foreign to him. He cannot love as a "normal" person loves, but he does have affection and caring for others, such as his rat, Toby. He cares about Toby and loves him in his own way. However, the concept of love for him is wrapped up in sex, which is physical, and so he can understand it. When he finds out his mother and Mr. Shears were having an affair, he says, "Was that why Mr. Shears left Mrs. Shears, because he was doing sex with someone else when he was married to Mrs. Shears?'" (Haddon 60). He understands the physical act, but he does not understand the emotion or commitment that is supposed to go along with the physical act.

Christopher even understands that he does not feel things like other people do. He tells Siobhan, "But I don't' feel sad about it. Because Mother is dead. And because Mr. Shears isn't around anymore. So I would be feeling sad about something that isn't real and doesn't exit. And that would be stupid'" (Haddon 75). Thus, he recognizes that he is different in how he sees and feels about things, but he does not understand what this difference is. If it is not logical it does not make sense to him, and emotions are definitely not logical. In fact, in the first part of the book the author attempts to show Christopher as an unemotional child who is very logical and therefore incapable of real love, but that is simply not the case.

Christopher understands love, or at least a part of love, when he thinks about how his Father loves him at the zoo. He thinks to himself, "And I said 'Yes,' because loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth" (Haddon 87). He does understand some aspects of love, and this becomes even clearer when he discovers the hidden letters from his mother and that his father lied to him about her being dead. He has a very physical and emotional reaction to the news. Haddon writes, "I felt giddy. It… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.  (2007, April 30).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/curious-incident-dog-night-time/27117

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