In “the curious case of the dog in the night-time” Mark Haddon has created Christopher Boone, a young, autistic man who has multiple needs. He has a very strong sense of order, hates certain colors and has difficulties communicating. When given the choice whether to live with his mother or father, it is the better choice for Christopher to stay with his father because unlike his mother, he has learned to become experienced with raising an autistic child from the experience of raising Christopher.
When Christopher was young, his father told him that his mother had died. Even though later in the book we find out that this was not true. It just so happens that Christopher mother left both the father and Christopher because she could not handle the responsibility of mothering an autistic child. She feels as if she is neither prepared nor happy with her life including Christopher. Christopher later uncovers a letter from her explaining why she had left by saying, “I was not a very good mother, Christopher.
Maybe if things had been different, maybe if you had been differant…” (106) This proves that his mother was not very faithful to him by leaving him at such a young age only because he was autistic. She also admits that the father is a better parent than she, that also being her reasoning for leaving. Christopher’s father also is more educated than his mother. You can physically see this in the letters that she writes to Christopher because she tends to have a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. Christopher’s father is obviously more educated and patient.
This is proven when Christopher’s mother also writes “I’m not like your father. Your father is a much more pacient person. He just gets on with things and if things upset him he doesn’t let it show. But that’s not the way I am and there’s nothing I can do to change that. ” (106) Christopher’s mother shows here that she is not willing to change to become more patient, which is something that is necessary when dealing with Christopher. If a parent is not willing to change something about themselves for the better good of their child, then who are they willing to change for?
The father, on the other hand, is more willing and accepting to change because he know it will make Christopher and his life easier. A parent needs to understand and also be able to relate to the needs of their child, which is something Christopher’s father has learned to do very well. Christopher’s father has become more experienced with the tactics he needs to follow to be able to successfully communicate with his son. For example, When Mr. Boone no longer wants Christopher to act as if he is a detective in the case of Mrs. Shears’ dead dog, Wellington.
He makes sure he is clear on what he is making Christopher promise him by being extremely specific so Christopher knows what he is not supposed to do by stating, “You are not to go asking Mrs. Shears about who killed that bloody dog. You are not to go asking anyone who killed that bloody dog. You are not to go trespassing in other people’s gardens. You are to stop this ridiculous bloody detective game right now. ” Due to the specifics of Christopher’s father’s orders, there is no reason for Christopher to not listen to him or try to get around what he is saying by being too general.
Mr. Boone now knows what he has to do to get through to Christopher. Christopher’s father also knows what makes his son comfortable and at ease. Christopher also has a lot of particular things that upsets him such as the colors yellow and brown, and people yelling at him and being touched. Mr. Boone has observed and learned from Christopher what makes him happy and what upsets him. One being that Christopher absolutely hates being touched, so when taken down the police station for hitting an officer Mr.
Boone greets Christopher with a simple hand touch instead of a hug, “He held up his right hand…I held up my left hand…and we made our finger and thumbs touch each other. We do this because sometimes father wants to give me a hug, but I do not like hugging people so we do this instead, and it means he loves me. ” Mr. Boone displays a great understanding of what Christopher’s likes and dislikes are and what will keep him from being upset. Also, having this mutual understanding displays experience, which is something that Christopher’s mother lacks in.