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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

Truth Theme

Truth can mean a lot of different things. There's "the truth," as in the opposite of a lie, and then there's "Truth" (yes, with a capital T), like the ultimate truth in the universe. In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Christopher has something to say about both of these things, and a number of points in between. Much of the time, he's pointing out other people's stupidity in believing things that aren't, um, true. But what does Christopher believe? Does he even believe in things, or does he just believe in the wrongness of other people's beliefs?

Questions About Truth

  1. What is the connection between truth and mathematics in the book?
  2. Christopher describes a conversation he has with a Christian vicar (61.7), during which Christopher denies the existence of God. What do you think Christopher would have to say about truth versus faith?
  3. Why does Christopher take such pleasure in debunking myths? Does this have any connection to his calling other people "stupid" (139.8)?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Christopher isn't angry with his father for lying about his mother's death because he feels betrayed or fooled. More than anything, he's angry because he likes knowing things. He realizes now that he's been kept in the dark, and he doesn't like that feeling at all.

Christopher seems to equate "knowing the truth" with "knowing the answer," like in a math problem, suggesting that the truth is something one can just figure out. But the world doesn't work like that at all.

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