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English Standard Year 12 -The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Home

A selection of resources to support Year 12 English Standard students studying 'A Curious Incident of the Do in the Night-Time'

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Key

Resource Key

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brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)

provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.

lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

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Synopsis

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Plot Overview

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time takes place in the year 1998 in and around the town of Swindon, England. The fifteen-year-old narrator of the story, Christopher John Francis Boone, discovers the slain body of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, on the neighbor’s front lawn one evening and sets out to uncover the murderer. His investigation is at times aided, and at other times hampered, by the mild form of autism he lives with. After Christopher hits a policeman in a misunderstanding at the scene of the crime, the police take Christopher into custody. They release Christopher with only a stern warning, under the condition that he promises to them and to his father not to look into the murder any further...continue reading...

Ending

What does the ending mean?

At the end of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Christopher lives with his mother in Swindon and slowly reconciles with his father, who buys him a puppy named Sandy. Christopher passes his A-level mathematics exams, and his exemplary score helps him feel confident about his future as an adult. When Christopher imagines living independently as a scientist, with a flat and a garden of his own, he writes, “And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? And I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.” From Christopher’s point of view, all the events leading to the novel’s conclusion point to his bright future.

Although Christopher has every reason to feel confident in himself, the conflict that exists in his home life blemishes his emphatic optimism. Christopher still struggles to understand others’ emotions, so the reader must rely on Christopher’s concrete observations for clues about his current situation. One important detail is that his mother starts taking antidepressants, which implies she still struggles with the demands of caring for Christopher, but also that she is receiving professional help for her own needs. His parents are clearly remorseful and want to do right by Christopher, but their previous rash and deceitful behavior is so extreme that Christopher’s final, self-assured proclamation is at once inspiring and disconcerting.

SparkNotes. (2021). What does the ending mean? https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time/what-does-the-ending-mean/

Overview

Analysis of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Click here to access The Art of Smart's analysis of the novel, including:

  • What is The Curious Incident about?
  • Context of the Curious Incident
  • Key ideas in The Curious Incident
  • Connections to Module B
  • How to analyse The Curious Incident in 3 steps

Watch the video above for a full-text breakdown of the novel