The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Dec 10th, 2019


In literature, many authors have well used writing techniques that capture the reader and create a desire within to read their work. With this, novel authors have used variety of writing skills varying from dramatic openings to use of fictional techniques to convey their ideas. Others have also used distinctively interesting characters at the center of their literature. However, mark Haddon, in his novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- time”, uses distinctive techniques to make his work interesting and outstanding.

On top of the normal and expected techniques by most readers, he uses extraordinary ones capturing many readers in a distinctive way. This essay seeks to find out and explain the distinctive techniques used in the Haddon’s novel, which draw many readers into its world. It will also see the ways in which these techniques remain outstanding.

Haddon’s Techniques

Mark Haddon can be termed as a well-gifted narrative author, with highly creative ways to capture readers into his work. He captures the reader from the beginning, makes him feel like he is playing part in the narrative, and finally leaves him delighted and encouraged to reread the narrative.

Haddon uses narrative in the first person is by itself a distinct technique that woos many readers (Mark). He puts the reader into the shoes of the narrator through the language he uses. On top of this, he uses a very distinct narrator who is a young boy of 15 years age who is autistic (Haddon 4).

Inasmuch as a novel is meant to entertain, Haddon opens the mind of the reader, insights and inform him about autistic children. He not only speaks about them but shows the reader how their brains work. He also uses the autistic person to portray this, which is very interesting and an outstanding technique. Information on autism is not familiar with many. The technique to mix entertainment with insights and information captures the reader to hold to the novel all through.

In the general view, he uses a child as the narrator of the story. He speaks through the mouth of this young boy, making the focus of the narrative change from Haddon to Christopher an autistic child. The voice of the child pulls the attention of the reader since it’s rare and appeals for more concern.

Inasmuch as many novels seek to portray the overcoming of a disability, Haddon uses an opposite technique (Mark). He uses a character with a disability and one who co-exists with it to the end. In other words, he uses a technique that makes the reader feel in a totally different world.

It separates the reader from the normal to the abnormal and unexpected. Everything that Christopher says has a lot of sense considering his condition. This reader’s effect receives an opposition from the people who surround Christopher who tend to ignore whatever he says (Haddon 110). This thus leads to drawing the reader to develop a curiosity that is maintained throughout the narrative.

He uses Asperger’s syndrome to support the point of using disability. This syndrome is basically a disorder representing disability. Haddon shows Christopher as one who has lost basic and important felling. He can only laugh and cry. This as a result interferes with the smooth relationship they had with his dad.

In addition he remains without a friend through the narrative. This therefore makes one feel emotional detachment of Christopher and tends to support his side, which always seems to lose throughout the narrative. On the other hand, Christopher’s condition touches on family relationships, which create an automatic attachment with the reader. Haddon therefore manages to carry the reader into the world of the novel and holds the reader to the end of the novel.

The title of the book (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- time) is enough to make the reader develop some curiosity. One would basically be carried by the fact it is a curious incident of a dog in the night time. Haddon does not use day time. The use of night time completely makes one have multiple guesses of what the incident would be.

In addition the use of dog and not a cow makes the reader have in mind million of incidents that a dog can be involved in at night. This lays a foundation from which many questions will be answered by reading the novel, thus capturing the reader’s curiosity into the world of the novel.

According to the pace of flow of events set at the beginning of the book, one would expect the murder mystery to be solved in the final pages. Haddon surprises the reader when such mystery is solved at an unexpected point. This gives time for the narrative to pick a higher pitch with raise in emotions and expands the restrictions of Christopher’s difficulty.

It is after the disclosure of mystery when more unexpected characters appear, offering more opposition to Christopher (Haddon 50). The reader hopes things get better for Christopher; they at this point get worse increasing the reader’s attention to the narrative.

Haddon also uses ‘detection’ theme to keep the reader parallel to the narrator thus holding the reader. The whole idea of the narrative is to detect the murder mystery. On the other hand the reader authentically tends to detect what Christopher will do, by reading his mind. Christopher all through believes something is wrong with the people surrounding him.

Haddon’s techniques remain outstanding to date since hardly are there authors using similar techniques. His techniques remain distinct. However, it is important to note that Haddon’s novel has not come to being through much research but through his experiences in life. It is more distinct when you write your own experience and no other people’s experience.


Mark Haddon story is distinct, moving and very entertaining and interesting. The techniques he uses in his work are rare and hardly found in other stories and narratives. No other author has shown such techniques as Haddon. The all work together to capture the reedier into the world the novel.

Moreover, even if not all, at least one of these techniques will make a reader desire to read the work. After beginning to read one gets tied into the narrative emotionally, thus feeling to hold throughout the narrative. Haddon avoids fulfilling the reader’s expectation through Christopher.

He makes sure that the reader plays part in the narrative. All these techniques empower each other thus drawing the reader into the novels world. More authors should endeavor to use such techniques since they not only capture many people, even those who are not avid readers, but also educate.

Works Cited

Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. London: Jonathan Cape, 2003. Print.

“Mark Haddon Interview.” DNA learning center. Cold Spring Habor Laboratory, n.d. Web.

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