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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

Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I got Siobhan to draw lots of these faces and then write down next to them exactly what they meant. I kept the piece of paper in my pocket and took it out when I didn't understand what someone was saying. But it was very difficult to decide which of the diagrams was most like the face they were making because people's faces move very quickly. (3.5)

This is a touching, but ultimately quite sad, image. It's one of the few times we get a sense of just how difficult it is for Christopher to be unable to communicate with people, and the effort he has put forth to try to better understand what people are saying.

Quote #2

I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. (5.2)

Christopher places great emphasis on facial expressions. One could argue, though, that it isn't how fast these expressions move, or how complicated they are, that gives him the most trouble. This dog example in particular suggests that the real issue is that people often try to conceal their true feelings and intentions, and disguise this emotion behind a misleading smile or a frown.

Quote #3

I like policemen, too, and I wanted to answer the question properly, but the policeman did not give me enough time to work out the correct answer. (11.14)

Even when Christopher does want to interact with a stranger (a rare occurrence), he finds it really difficult.

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