Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
No two people’s brains work in the exact same way and everyone has something that sets them apart. As a teenager with autism, it is evident that Christopher views the world in a different way than someone without autism. Also, because of his disorder, the world views him differently as well. Therefore, it may be more difficult for the reader to understand what goes on in Christopher’s mind. In order to convey these views, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is written in first-person narrative voice along with various illustrations. Mark Haddon employs visual techniques to help the reader better understand Christopher’s logic and perspective.
An important aspect of Christopher’s character is that he likes order, structure and organization, which is similar to other children diagnosed with autism. Very often in throughout the story, Christopher makes numbered lists laying out his exact thoughts and points. For example, when he is trying to explain a complex concept to the reader, such as his suspects for who killed Wellington, he lists an ordered outline of questions, reasons, and suspects (42). In addition, Christopher says it “[makes] [him] feel safe having things always in a nice order.” (25). The author includes these lists in the text to emphasize how Christopher uses logic and reason to get to get his point across. Another visual technique used in the novel is the depiction of the card Christopher made for his mother. Christopher specifically chose read cars to draw on the card because he believes that red cars make it a “Super Super Good Day”. (27). Due to the fact that he thinks that red cars represent good days, it is only logical for him to use them when making the card for his mom. Additionally, in the illustration Mark Haddon has the cars set up in three rows of three which demonstrate how Christopher’s thought process is structural. Structure and order are very important to Christopher, which is conveyed by Haddon through the different pictures and lists.
Another significant visual in the novel is the picture of the Milky Way. Christopher is very intrigued in outer space so he uses this image to literally show the reader the different perspectives of our galaxy and how depending on the direction you look in, the amount of stars you see changes. (10). Mark Haddon employs this image as an analogy for the way that people, specifically, Christopher, have various perspectives on the world. The use of this image helps the reader better understand Christopher’s different perception of the world around him.
In order to help the reader better comprehend Christopher’s different perspective and use of logic, Mark Haddon uses visual techniques in the novel. A disorder such as autism affects the brains “normal” development. In which case, if the narrator of the story has a disorder such as autism the author must employ different techniques to make it easier to understand the mentality of the narrator. The use of visuals such as lists and illustrations are needed to express Christopher’s perspective.