Welcome To T he Office of New Student Experience
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"
by Mark Haddon
"Christopher John Francis Boone knows all
the countries of the world and their capitals
and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates
well to animals but has no understanding of
human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched.
And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher's
quest to investigate the suspicious death of a
neighborhood dog makes for one of the most
captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels
in recent years."
- On the very first page of the book what are
the clues that the narrator thinks differently
- What is the significance of the narrator’s
choice in chapter numbers?
- What is the relationship between Siobhan and
the narrator and what (if any) is her influence?
- Why are puzzles and riddles so important to
Christopher John Francis Boone?
- Why do you suppose that Christopher has such
a strong affinity for dogs and other animals but
- Metaphors confuse Christopher – why do you
think this is?
- Christopher is very precise, and as such his
narrative is very precise and exact – much more
so than is seen in a traditional novel – to the
point where he even includes footnotes in the
book. Does this level of exactingness help or
hurt the overall narrative?
- How do some of the diagrams help the
story/narration, and how do some of them make it
harder to understand?
- Christopher sees things in patterns – how
does the reader’s experience in trying to
understand his thought processes mirror
Christopher’s own confusion in understanding
other people’s thoughts?
- Schedule and diet are important to
Christopher – he has lots of rules and
superstitions about how things must be or must
not be. Non-autistic people also have similar
beliefs and rules – what other characteristics
do autistics share with non-autistics?
- What is about Occam’s razor that so appeals
- Christopher’s parents interact with him in
two very different ways – which way do you think
is better for Christopher – which way is better
for his parents?
- Describe Christopher’s understanding of
emotional states, particularly happiness and
sadness. How does this understanding relate to
or not related to his own emotional behavior?
- Today’s technology – IM, text messaging,
e-mail, etc. – lets us use visual
representations of emotions - - :) - - and put
in quick descriptions of what we are doing and
not what we are feeling (i.e. LOL versus “I
think that is funny”) – how is this similar to
how Christopher operates?
- How does Christopher’s “disability” allow
him to succeed, where other non-autistic
children would fail?
- Some people would label Christopher as
“disabled” while others would refer to them as
“differently-abled” – what is the difference
between these two terms and which is more
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