Christopher is a main character and the narrator in the ‘Curious incidence of the Dog in the Night-Time’ By Mark Haddon who is a writer from Britain. Although the main character has some behavioural problems, he is a gifted child because he is a mathematician as he describes himself in the story. In spite of the fact that the issue of autism is not clearly explained in the story, the condition of the narrator is referred to as high-functioning autism or Aspersers Syndrome on the cover of various editions of the same story (Haddon, 2007). More to that, various incidences as well as some character traits of Christopher clearly illustrates how Autism had a great effect on his entire life. Bent on that, this essay describes how Christopher’s autism affected his daily life.
Autism is a disorder that affects not only the perception but also the thought processes and the attention of a child. It is a disease characterised by a broad range of symptoms and the affected children always display behaviours, which are in appropriate for their age. In particular and as highlighted earlier, autistic children have a problem in social interaction, communication and behaviour. Reading through the story illustrates that Christopher had several characteristics, which would have qualified him to be classified as an autistic child, and as a result, such issues had a great effect on his life. Autism affects the social life of Christopher a great deal and at times, the condition lands him into problems. For instance, police once arrested him although he was released latter. It is uncommon to find a child who can gather enough courage to hit a police officer.
However, due to autism, Christopher gathered enough courage and hit a police officer. Due to his behavioural problems, Ed who was the father to Christopher did not allow him to interact and communicate with other people especially when he was investigating the death of wellington. Consequently, he fails to know not only many issues that happen in the society but also his neighbourhood. For instance, while he was investigating the death of wellington, Christopher records that he met some people like Mrs Alexander for the first time although she was living in the same neighbourhood. Most importantly, Christopher was able also to gather important information because the same woman informed him that his mother was having an affair with Mr. Shears for a long time.
In the view of the fact that he knew the information when his mother had already died, it is then clear that his condition prevented him from living a normal life like other people in the society. Unlike his age mates, he failed to know important information (Haddon, 2007). Christopher becomes too emotional when he is angered or when things work contrary to his expectations. For instance, the story records a day he discovered some of his mother’s letters, which were written after the date of her death while he was looking for a certain book, which his father had hidden from him.
Due to anger, Christopher curled and cried loudly for hours while vomiting until his father came back. Such a situation illustrates that Christopher was more emotional than the normal children and that affected his life because he was unable to deal effectively with problems and challenges he encountered in his life. Unlike the normal children, Christopher required a lot of care and the adults who used to live with him had to develop a lot of patience.
For instance, his father had a great responsibility of ensuring that he interacted well with people. In addition, the father had to clean him up although he was a big child. Adults in his life had to be patience with him. For instance, Mr. Shears could not bear with him and they had to break up with his mother.
Afterwards, they returned to Swindon and looked for a place to stay since they were not willing to go back to their home. The study indicates that Christopher was antisocial, as he did not want to communicate with other people. Surprisingly, although Christopher did not want to communicate with people, he did not have a problem interacting with animals. For instance, he was so much attached to wellington and that is why he was sad after the death and decided to investigate on the same. As highlighted earlier, Christopher is an emotional person and acts in a strange manner especially after he is angered.
As much as he is bright, autism affects negatively his function in the world. Social life is very important because it determines the overall productivity of a person. The overall life of Christopher is unstable since he is always on transit. He decided to search for his mother, which was a long, adventurous and a dangerous journey. His thought process is affected, as he is too irrational.
Therefore, autism affects his emotions, his function in life and his life in general. As much as Christopher is a talented student since he manages to pass his A level examination, Autism affects his social life in various ways. For instance, the story illustrates that he always wants things to run in an orderly manner. He chose to investigate the death of wellington, a dog that belonged to Mrs.
Shears to ensure that that justice was carried out. Towards the end of the story, Christopher illustrates that he hopes that his father will be jailed because of killing the dog. Similar to other children suffering from autism, Christopher suffers from misperception. For instance, just because his father confessed to him that he killed the dog, he decides to run away to look for his mother because he thinks that he might kill him. Accepting the father back becomes a major problem although his father really tries hard to rebuild the relationship. Therefore, all factors taken into consideration, autism affect the life of Christopher, socially, psychologically and emotionally.
Haddon, M. (2007).
Curious incidence of the Dog in the Night-Time. Toronto: Doubleday Canada.