The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Freedom and Confinement Quotes in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
How we cite our quotes:
I used to have lots of Behavioural Problems, but I don't have so many now because I'm more grown up and I can take decisions for myself and do things on my own like going out of the house and buying things at the shop at the end of the road. (73.1)
This is the first time we hear about Christopher's behavior having generally improved over time. A few other times, he mentions specific lessons he's learned (about not hitting people, for one thing), but this comment is interesting because it represents his having gained freedom by restraining himself from actions he's learned are unacceptable.
To be a good astronaut you have to [...] be someone who would like being on their own in a tiny spacecraft thousands of thousands of miles away from the surface of the earth and not panic or get claustrophobia or homesick or insane. And I like really little spaces, so long as there is no one else in them with me. (83.2)
Look, we don't want to beat this thing into the ground, but do you see the connection between freedom and confinement here? Like, being an astronaut in space – that's freedom. Being trapped inside a little spacecraft, though? Now, that's confinement. It's Christopher's ability to deal with confinement that would allow him to experience such freedom.
It would be a bit warmer in the shed but I knew that Father might look for me in the shed, so I went round the back of the shed and I squeezed into the gap between the wall of the shed and the fence, behind the big, black, plastic tub for collecting rainwater. Then I sat down and I felt a bit safer. (167.46)
Christopher runs away from home, but he only gets to the backyard before feeling a little overwhelmed by his newfound freedom. What does he do, then? Well, he crams himself into a nice tight squeeze behind the garden shed, and, safely confined, feels much more secure.