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

"The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 2, p.1)

Christopher has found his neighbor's dog lying dead in her yard. It is clear to him that someone has purposefully killed the dog and he is curious as to who killed him and why. At first the dog's owner, Mrs. Shears, thinks he killed the dog. After this misunderstanding is cleared up, Christopher decides, with the help of his teacher's aide, Siobhan, to write a book about the dog's death. This one incident is the impetus for a series of life changing events for Christopher and his family.

"Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 19, p. 12)

Christopher feels safe when he is solving math problems or learning science facts. These two subjects console him, because the answers to their questions are logical. He loves prime numbers the most and this is why the chapters of this book are all prime numbers.

He feels prime numbers are most representative of his life, because he has a behavioral problem, which is why he attends a school for children with special needs. He has a hard time understanding all the social rules which make up everyday life. For instance, while most people understand facial expressions, to Christopher they are confusing. He tries to interpret them correctly, but mostly he responds to them in an inappropriate manner. So to him the rules of knowing what a frown indicates or a smile means in a particular moment is akin to listening to an unknown language for the rest of us. He just cannot understand the rules of social interaction.

"He held up his right hand and spread his fingers out in a fan. I held up my left hand and spread my fingers out in a fan and we made our fingers and thumbs touch each other." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 31, p. 16)

Christopher is explaining how he and his father show affection for each other. Christopher hates to be touched and it is because of this he is arrested and put in jail. The neighbor, whose dog is dead, calls the police to report the crime. Christopher, while he is being questioned, shuts down and can't answer the policeman's questions, so he grabs Christopher's arm to make him stand up. Christopher's reaction to being grabbed, is to hit the policeman, who arrests him for assault. His father manages to have him released and he is happy to have his son back, but instead of hugging him they touch hands, it is their way of saying I love you.

"I am going to prove that I'm not stupid. Next month I'm going to take my A level in maths and I'm going to get an A grade." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 71, p. 44)

Christopher thinks the other students in his school are stupid. He has been told it is inappropriate to call them stupid, instead he is to say they have learning difficulties or special needs. He is intent on proving he is not like the rest of the students at his school.

His father is on his side in this matter, so he makes special arrangements for Christopher to take the test. This test is of vital importance to Christopher and is a driving force for him throughout the story. His mother tries to postpone the test for a year, but his teacher's aide, Siobhan, makes arrangements for him to take the test on the scheduled date. He is happy to be given the chance to take the test, because it is the first step in his plan to one day attend college.

"Then I stopped reading the letter because I felt sick.

Mother had not had a heart attack. Mother had not died. Mother had been alive all the time. And Father had lied about this." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 157, p. 112)

Christopher has found a stack of letters from his mother in a box stored in his father's closet. Christopher has been told his mother died from a heart attack two years before he found the letters. The dates on the letters are after his mother's death, so he reasons she is still alive. The letters explain why she left him, which is she couldn't deal with Christopher's issues and felt he is better off living with his father. She also is having an affair with Mrs. Shears' husband and living with him in London.

His father lied to Christopher to keep him from being hurt by his mother's actions, but instead Christopher is more deeply wounded. He now realizes his mother is gone and his father has lied to him for two years. He becomes ill and vomits on himself, which is how his father found him, when he returned home from work. The breach to Christopher is almost unforgiveable, because he doesn't have the capacity to lie himself, so he expects no one else to lie to him.

"I had to get out of the house. Father had murdered Wellington, That meant he could murder me, because I couldn't trust him, even though he had said 'Trust me,' because he had told a lie about a big thing." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 167, p. 122)

Christopher's father in an attempt to win back his son's trust, after he has read the letters, tells him he had killed the dog, Wellington. Christopher is now scared that his father is capable of killing him. In his mind killing is killing, no matter if it is an animal or a person. To learn his father killed the dog, because he was angry with Mrs. Shears for not moving in with him, means to Christopher that the next time he makes his father angry, he might kill him.

He decides to leave the house that night. He spends the night hiding behind their garden shed, then he decides to make the trip to London. He wants to go there to live with his mother.

"Let's call it...let's call it a project. A project we have to do together. You have to spend more time with me. And I...I have to show you that you can trust me." (Ed Boone, Chapter 233, p. 219)

Christopher's father is trying to reconnect with his son. He proposes that they spend at first one minute a day together. He wants them to increase the time spent together gradually day by day, until Christopher learns to trust his father again.

Christopher, until this point, has not spoken to his father or stayed in the same room with him alone, since he ran away from home. Now his father is proposing they start talking and trusting each other again.

"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." (Christopher Boone, Chapter 233, p. 221)

Christopher has found out he received an A on his A level maths test, which means he can take the more advanced tests as he progresses through school. He now realizes he can achieve his dream of becoming a scientist. He is feeling very confident, because he solved the dog's murder, found his mother, wrote the book, and traveled to London by himself. He has proved that even though he might have some difficulties navigating the world around him, he can, with a lot of courage and persistence, achieve his goals.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapters 229 - 233 Summary
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapters 2 - 47 Summary
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapters 53 - 89 Summary
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Important Characters
Literature Summaries

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