The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Truth Quotes in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
How we cite our quotes:
And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth. (139.8)
Christopher aligns believing in something with not wanting to know the truth, and both of those things with being stupid. It's pretty harsh, right? He probably wouldn't appreciate it if someone told him he was stupid for dreaming of becoming an astronaut. Then why is okay for him to be so intolerant of other people's beliefs and dreams?
"OK, maybe I don't tell the truth all the time. God knows, I try, Christopher, God knows I do, but... Life is difficult, you know. It's bloody hard telling the truth all the time. Sometimes it's impossible. And I want to know that I'm trying, I really am. And perhaps this is not a very good time to say this, and I know you're not going to like it, but... You have to know that I am going to tell you the truth from now on. About everything. Because... if you don't tell the truth now, then later on... later on it hurts even more. So..." (167.16)
This is a pretty moving speech from Christopher's father. We feel for him – we really do. We feel kind of bad dissecting his logic but, hey, that's our job. We're definitely with him about it being "bloody hard" to tell the truth all the time. Like when your friend offers to cook you dinner, but you know she's not exactly the best "chef." You don't want to hurt her feelings, so you tell her you have plans to go out for pizza with your parents. We know, it's okay. Heck, Christopher even has to find ways around telling the whole truth. Really, telling the whole truth all the time might be "impossible." But then how can he turn around and promise he'll always tell the truth from then on? What evidence does he have that it's somehow going to get easier in the future?
And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffee maker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away.
And that is the truth. (173.5-6)
What does this mean, "And that is the truth"? Just what is he calling a lie here? It's true that the stars in the constellation Orion aren't really connected out there in the cosmos – of course not. If he's talking about the thing we call Orion, well that's a story we've created that connects those stars in a meaningful way – it's a hunter, not a coffee maker. It's a little unfair for Christopher to demean that story by saying it isn't "the truth."