The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time | Study Guide

Mark Haddon

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Course Hero, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Study Guide," August 23, 2017, accessed April 24, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Curious-Incident-of-the-Dog-in-the-Night-Time/.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time | Chapters 199–223 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 199

Christopher discusses evolution, reasoning that anyone who believes in God is stupid, urging everyone to "think logically."

Chapter 211

Christopher doesn't know which stop he's at or whether he's already past London, but he's now too afraid to climb out of his hiding place. A few passengers notice him while collecting their bags, most mocking or teasing him, but no one breaks his cover. Christopher climbs out once the train has stopped moving and discovers his bag is missing. He worries because it contained all his food. On the platform a different police officer approaches him and tries to bring him back to the station. While the police officer is distracted radioing in their location, Christopher escapes.

Dazed and terrified, Christopher nearly attacks a man with his Swiss army knife and frightens the information agent while asking for directions. Despite his many fears, Christopher feels like he can act this way because he's determined to find his mother. He manages to purchase a train ticket but cannot find the courage to board the subway to his mother's house; the train noise is too loud and the crowds are too overwhelming. He wants to return home but realizes thinking like that means, "my mind wasn't working properly." He sits on a bench and groans.

Chapter 223

Christopher describes the various advertisements around the train station and describes what advertisements do to people's minds.

Analysis

In Christopher's analysis of evolution he unintentionally describes a metaphor for his maturation: the conditions had to be exactly perfect for him to break out of his well-ordered shell and escape to London. There were a dozen other scenarios in which he stayed exactly the same for the rest of his life, never venturing off the known path or attempting such a journey. Wellington's death set off a chain reaction that led to his escape from his father, and Wellington's death happened because Christopher's mother left two years earlier. This particular and rare set of conditions altered Christopher's life and compelled him to push himself out of his comfort zones. Even as it is occurring, Christopher seems aware of this seismic shift, pumping himself up to get on the Tube (subway) with the thought, "I can do this because I was doing really well."

Throughout this section and in many other parts of the novel, Christopher begins nearly every sentence with and or and then. This sentence structure mimics the way children tell stories aloud and underscores how overwhelming the situation is for Christopher: events and changes just keep happening without giving him time to settle or think. His detailed descriptions of advertisement signs exemplify how everyday objects most people barely notice are overly stimulating for someone with Christopher's condition.

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