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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

Order and Logic Quotes in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

And sometimes Mrs. Shears stayed overnight at our house and I liked it when she did because she made things tidy and she arranged the jars and pans and tins in order of their height on the shelves in the kitchen and she always made their labels face outwards and she put the knives and forks and spoons in the correct compartments in the cutlery drawer. (67.99)

On the surface, this quote points us back to Christopher's desire for order in the world around him. But, beneath that, it says something about his relationship with the people in that world as well. Here, the role of "mother" in Christopher's household is arguably reduced to cleaning the house and arranging the things in the kitchen. As long as Mrs. Shears does that, this suggests that her installment as surrogate mother is okay with Christopher. Is that a fair judgment to make?

Quote #8

I wondered whether I should open the envelope because it was something I had taken from Father's room. But then I reasoned that it was addressed to me so it belonged to me so it was OK to open it. (149.50)

Is Christopher using twisted logic to justify actions he very well knows are wrong? Or is he proving that although common sense suggests these actions are wrong, they're actually logically sound?

Quote #9

And then I Formulated a Plan. And that made me feel better because there was something in my head that had an order and a pattern and I just had to follow the instructions one after the other. (179.30)

Check out the way this is expressed. Making decisions as they come up doesn't work for Christopher. Instead, he gives himself a list of instructions, and then takes a step back and follows those instructions, essentially forgetting that he's the author. Is this, in a sense, denying himself free will?

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