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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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:

Quote #1

It was nice in the police cell. [...] I wondered how I would escape if I was in a story. [...] I decided that my best plan would be to wait for a really sunny day and then use my glasses to focus the sunlight on a piece of clothing and start a fire. I would then make my escape when they saw the smoke and too me out of the cell. (23.10)

Notice anything strange about this? Like how half-hearted this escape plan is? First, we really doubt that he could make his clothing catch fire. And even if he did, and was removed from his cell, that seems to be the most difficult part of the effort, yet he offers no plan for what he'll do once he's taken out. So, what's this all about? Well, you notice how this quote starts off? He likes it in there! He has no reason to want to leave. He assumes that if he were "in a story," then that character would probably want to escape. But you could argue that Christopher actually feels most free when locked inside a jail cell by himself.

Quote #2

This is because I do not always do what I am told.

And this is because when people tell you what to do it is usually confusing and does not make sense. (59.2-3)

Here's an interesting juxtaposition: Christopher feels confined (we might even say imprisoned) by being unable to understand directions. This allows him to justify not following said directions, leaving him free to do whatever the heck he wants.

Quote #3

Then, when I've got a degree in Maths, or Physics, or Maths and Physics, I will be able to get a job and earn lots of money and I will be able to pay someone who can look after me and cook my meals and wash my clothes [...] (71.8)

Christopher fantasizes about getting a job, and the freedom that comes from having money of his own. He would use the money to hire someone to help him live on his own, without needing his father to take care of him. Freedom begets freedom.

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