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In the text "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" the author Mark Haddon is able to gain our sympathy for and our understanding of Christopher because we learn to see things from his perspective. Discuss.

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Introduction

In the text "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" the author Mark Haddon is able to gain our sympathy for and our understanding of Christopher because we learn to see things from his perspective. Discuss. Mark Haddon's touching novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," is a brilliant journey into a world that few people can even contemplate. What must it be like to have a literal mind that can process only certain types of arcane information but is powerless to handle the everyday social interactions that we all take for granted? By writing this book from Christopher's point of view, Haddon creates deep compassion for Christopher and enables the reader to feel this boy's confusion, anger, and heartbreak as his life begins to unravel. Haddon not only lifts the curtain on the world of a boy with Aspersers, but he also explores the strain that having such a child places on his parents. ...read more.

Middle

The substance of the text "The Curious Incident" is that while Christopher is obsessed with solving the mystery of the dog's death, he is oblivious to the disintegration of his family under his nose. And yet, his investigations lead him to the heart of the problem. It can sometimes be difficult for the reader to have a better grasp on what is happening then the narrator, yet, at the same time it give us a deeper knowledge of Christopher's perception of the world. His literal, ploddingly logical and sometimes brilliantly poignant observations show us how absurd ordinary life can be without all the everyday assumptions we make, an example of which is when he speaks of his mother "Sometimes I look up into the sky and think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or Antarctica, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere." ...read more.

Conclusion

This novel gives the effect of being able to crawl around inside his mind and be able to really understand how it works. In his own roundabout way, Christopher solves both the murder and the family crisis. It's not a saccharine happy ending but it is a story of hope and achievement. Although not always clear there are clues that Christopher is aware that he is not in control of his own life, this is a feeling that most teenagers have at some point, but for Christopher this is truer then most. "I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean me." P20 "The Curious Incident" is eloquent, poignant, darkly humorous, and unforgettable. I predict that this book will become a classic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the intricate workings of the human mind and heart. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate here is reviewing the effectiveness of Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, in a semi-synoptic essay which combines objective commentary and personal review. The candidate makes an excellent use of their analytical skills ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here is reviewing the effectiveness of Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, in a semi-synoptic essay which combines objective commentary and personal review. The candidate makes an excellent use of their analytical skills and shows how they can implement them with illuminating points that are referenced by text quotations and are then further elaborated on. The candidate shows an acute awareness of the realism of Haddon’s characters and a sensitive appraisal of Christopher’s Asperger’s syndrome and how it affects his thinking; there is also evidence of a very holistic knowledge of the novel, which aids the essay in its naturally flowing quality and coherent points. This is the work of a candidate who confidently responds to the novel with a thoughtful and sensitive review.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis isn’t really marked here. This is more a piece that is weighted towards AO1 (informed and relevant critical responses) and AO4 (understanding of contextual significance) and very lightly on AO2 (critical evaluation). The candidate approaches the question fantastically and delightfully unconventionally, opting for original thought and personal viewpoints of formulaic objectivity. Instead of prescriptively opting to conform to a PEE/ (Point, Evidence & Explanation/Comment) structure, the subjectivity required of the task helps the candidate vary their answer so that it remains a thoroughly interesting read with insightful, thoughtful analysis of the text, its characters and their personalities. This candidate would look to achieve a strong A* grade for their work here.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is also fantastic. The candidate confidently uses a wide variety of vocabulary, flaunting their knowledge of the English language and showing the examiner their ability to shape the meaning of their text with precision and accuracy. Grammar, spelling and punctuation is not an issue here as the candidate has taken great care to ensure clarity in their written expression.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 04/07/2012

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