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Opinionative review on 'The Curious Dog in the Nighttime'

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'Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' "No-one is a stranger, that the people we turn away from in the street are more like us than we dare admit, that the things we have in common will always outweigh the things which separate us." Mark Haddon Everyone is different - it may just be the colour of their hair or it may be their race, religion or intellectual and emotional capability. No matter what, everyone should be treated equally. In the end, we are all human beings. This point of accepting diversity is just one message that Mark Haddon conveyed in his compelling book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. It is clear through his portrayal of characters living their day to day lives, that he wanted us to recognise that everyone is different and that we should accept them as they are. ...read more.


The reader is able to step into Christopher's shoes and understand the way he thinks and acts. The reader readily becomes more understanding and accepting of diversity. Another character Haddon uses is Ed Boone, Christopher's father. Even though Ed suffered hurt and rejection from his son, he always supported and encouraged him. Ed always made time to talk to and clearly loved his son. He didn't run away as Christopher's mother did - he learnt to accept Christopher for who he was and treated him like any other normal 15 year old boy. Haddon's enigmatic writing enabled him to intertwine his various messages into the plot and setting of the book. One example of this is when Christopher's father lied to him about his mother's death. After Ed lied to Christopher, he realised that what he had done was unacceptable and unfair. He realised that he should not have lied to his son. ...read more.


Christopher also described the way the children from the local high school called out names and nasty comments to the children that attend the special school in the street. Rather than Christopher writing about his sadness of these derogatory comments of being socially unacceptable, he relfected upon these remarks without offence. This showed the diversity of Christopher and how he did not understand the need to be socially accepted. Overall, the book excellently conveyed Haddon's messages of diversity and being accepted. The book successfully used a different perspective of writing, enabling the reader to step into Christopher's shoes and see what his life was like. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, was written not to confuse the reader, but to enlighten them on the diversity and discrimination experienced in our modern world. Haddon constructed many important messages that can be taken away from reading this moving and insightful book and enabled the reader to become aware of the discrimination and diversity that people with disabilities endure every day of their life. English 2010 ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

This is a very competent essay, which combines objectivity and subjectivity well to form a well-written, honest, and completely valid review. The candidate shows a deep understanding of the purpose of the novel and also how Haddon forms language in ...

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Response to the question

This is a very competent essay, which combines objectivity and subjectivity well to form a well-written, honest, and completely valid review. The candidate shows a deep understanding of the purpose of the novel and also how Haddon forms language in order to create a world alien to our own - the world of an autistic 15 year-old boy. There is a sensitive appraisal of how Christopher sees the world, and the means by which he comes to understand it as his own. The opinions formed here are clear and justified, but perhaps I would like to see more of a language-based analysis integrated. Through what means does his characters? What styles of narrative do you read? Notice how everything involving emotion is described very in a very one-dimensional way, and often with a limited vocabulary (Christopher frequently uses "I said", "He said", and "She said") - the words in the narrative are very simplistic. This is the type of analysis that will help improve the review and show the examiner there is a greater understanding of the language devices used by Haddon in order to 'create' Christopher's character.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is good. The candidate shows much evidence that they have a deep-set knowledge of the events of the novel and also the presentation of characters in it. The personal response is well-justified and shows intelligence and proficiency in writing a balanced argument. As said earlier, a more precise response drawing attention to the technical terminology of written expression would help the candidate score higher, focusing on the means by which Haddon uses character, space and narrative voice in order to develop plot and character.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is brilliant, There is a clear indication of a candidate who writes very fluidly whilst making few errors. This could be a result of spell-checking though, and there's no shame in that because we all make writing errors even without realising, so it is greatly recommended that candidates do this.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 11/08/2012

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