Study Guide

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Versions of Reality

By Mark Haddon

Versions of Reality

Christopher Boone sees the world much differently from the rest of us, that's for sure. He notices much more of what's going on around him – he's quite the observer, after all – but he can't quite seem to interpret all those detailed observations. This guy is so enveloped by his own vision that he's almost wholly disinterested in the things he's missing. And as it happens, Christopher realizes that his "reality" has actually been built on lies. Much of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is the story of what happens when Christopher is subjected to all the crazy things from which he's been sheltered – that is, reality as most of us know it. Crazy, indeed.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Christopher's way of seeing the world seems to be both a blessing and a curse. If he had the opportunity to see the world through someone else's eyes, and then was offered the chance to either keep looking at it that way or go back to his own original view, which do you think he would choose?
  2. Christopher claims he has trouble imagining things (7.6). Do you believe him? What evidence is there for and against this claim? What does this say about his relationship to reality?
  3. Imagine there's someone else at Christopher's school with a similar disorder to his own. Do you think they might be good friends, given that they see the world in similar ways? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Christopher's keen attention to detail means he's really more in touch with reality than with the rest of us.

Christopher sure is missing out on a lot. Reality might be tough to handle, but it's what keeps life interesting.