|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Literature review Character analysis Symbolism Modernist literature|
Modern literature comprises fictional elements which set the guidelines for authors to develop their techniques. This is one way most authors use to capture their readers and hence create a desire within the story through their plot, setting, character, conflict, symbol, and their viewpoints. Most authors have used fictional techniques to try and convey the main idea to the reader. Is the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Haddon, Mark is an example of modern literature? Haddon in the novel uses fictional techniques to make his work outstanding and interesting to read. On top of Haddon creative techniques, he uses symbols, plot, characterization, and conflict. In my essay, I aim at analyzing the novel Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Haddon, Mark, and bring out and understand why the novel is an example of modern literature.
Modern literature comprises of symbols as fictional techniques. Haddon in the novel uses symbols as a literary device in the development of the plot and the themes. The murder investigation is an example of a symbol. The novel begins with a mysterious murder of Christopher's neighbor dog and he decided to start an investigation of the dog but however, his investigation resent his research with a truth he didn't know about his parents. The search for the wellington's murder provides Christopher with evidence that his father had lied to him about his mother's death. The dog investigation symbolically fuels Christopher's discovery about his father secrete. Christopher father had lied to him because he felt the anger and loss when he was left by his mother. After Mrs. Shear broke off with Christopher's father through his anger and loss makes the father lost his control and kills the dog (Ue, 2014). The investigation of Wellington death is an example of symbolism as a fictional element in modern literature which Haddon uses to explain Christopher investigation leads him essentially to the truth about his parents.
Math problems, maps, and logic puzzles are essentially an example of symbolism used in the novel. They symbolize to Christopher part of the world that is logical and ordered. Christopher uses them symbolically to organize his thoughts. An example is when he uses the Monty Hall problem to try to understand and explain why his intuition about Mrs. Shear was wrong and this serves as his primary means of achieving his overall sense of security. In the novel Math problems, maps and logic puzzles recur continually but often appear every time he comes across new information and he still hasn't processed the information well. Also, in particular, are the times Christopher experiences disturbing and confusing events (Haddon, 2004). Another scenario is when he thinks of the visual riddle at the trains station in Swindon called Conway's soldiers when he is jumbled and he uses it to pass time (Ue, 2014). Maps are a symbolic part of Christopher quest to investigate and achieve his goals. maps creative a narrative as he uses them to investigate the neighbor's dogs murder. Also, another instance is when he tries to find the train station in Swindon and when he is searching for her mother's apartment when he alights in London. In essence, the author builds the narration form these items and through symbolism provides Christopher with an accurate strategy that he flows when problems come his way and he used different variables to help him come up with a clear solution.
One of the elements that are evidence of modern literature in the article is metafiction. This is having a story within a story. The novel is based on the story which Christopher, the main character, writes a mystery story about his neighbor's dog. Through this, the reader's et to understand Christopher and how he sees the world. Christopher admits to being the writer and the narrator while he gives the reader insight into his thoughts and writing process. Christopher expresses transparency when he explains why he started the narration with a dog, as it meant to "grab people's attention" (Haddon, 2004). This makes the character more adorable and funnier as well as helping the reader to appreciate people with ASD. Christopher even tells how he expects the book not to be funny at all when says, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them" (Haddon, 2004). Through the book, Christopher also does not avoid topics considered taboos or those that are considered callous as he cannot understand the issues associated with them that make them as such, for example, the topic on the existence of heaven which he backs up his opinion on it not existing with facts.
Narrative perspective is another element used in this book that brings it out as modern literature. Modern literature tends to use very unique perspectives. The perspective from which Christopher narrates, one who suffers from Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a very unique and restricted one. Haddon employs a lot of techniques in this novel to give Christopher that unique perspective. He uses a lot of visuals, for instance, he uses drawings when Siobhan draws emojis for Christopher to help him understand people's facial expressions better. He also uses maps that Christopher makes and some math problems which the character solves. This emphasizes how much Christopher relies on figures, mathematics, logic, illustrations, and charts to comprehend his version of the world. These visuals also help the reader to understand Christopher's mind and thoughts well.
Haddon also makes other preconceived choices that help maintain the narrative's integrity. Some of these decisions help strengthen his incorporation of the string of consciousness writing style which helps create uniqueness in Christopher's voice. For example, Christopher, in many instances of his dialogues, begins a lot of his sentences with 'and' (Haddon, 2013). He also includes a lot of out-of-context details during Cristopher's string of thoughts which help illustrate how he thinks in all moments of his daily life. For example, in one moment, Christopher gives detailed descriptions of his teachers and mentions very tiny details such as Mr. Jevon's soap smell Siobhan's green plastic glasses (Haddon, 2004). This style of writing is also portrayed in other forms in the novel such as Hudson makes the chapters short and simple, sometimes lacking beginnings or ends and almost fail to connect logically, indicating fragmentation.
Another element of fiction discussed in the novel is conflict. The novel expresses both interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict. In the case of interpersonal conflict, there is visible friction between Christopher and his father when he learns of his deceit, that he was the one who had killed Wellington the dog. After that, he runs away and goes to London where he goes to live with his mother. This maintains a realistic nature in the novel, most children tend to run away from their homes after fighting with their parents. There is also conflict between Christopher's parents. Judy Boone, his mother grows tired of taking care of Christopher and when Ed, Christopher's father tries to calm her, she hits him. From then, threw gradually grow apart and eventually part. This is also caused by Judy's affair with Shear whom she ends up moving in with. This upsets Ed so much that he does not want to ever see either of them again in his lifetime. Interpersonal conflict is shown in the novel in its main character, Christopher. This conflict is as a result of his disabilities which limit how he thinks and his actions in his daily life. towards others. This, in turn, limit his overall behavior toward others. He tries to prove his worth to others by taking the levels of tests in his school. There is also conflict between Christopher the society as a result of his ASD condition. This hinders the way he interacts with a society that judges him harshly in a lot of instances.
The use of metafiction and the narrative perspective make associates the novel with modern literature as these styles of writing are commonly used. Conflict in the novel also helps the reader to relate the events of the novel with contemporary society.
Plot and Conflict
The book brings modern literature to life through the plot and the conflict that revolves around the main story. The book includes a brief illustration and description of each point in the plot. The plots are set in the year 1998 around Swindon in England. The plot starts with the exposition phase where the character Christopher discovers the slain body of a dog that belonged to his neighbor Mrs. Shears. And he decided to investigate the killer. His investigation is sometimes hampered especially when he hits a cop and he is taken to custody. He later realized with warns that he was not supposed to look at the case anymore. Then the plot is followed by the main conflict which he develops from the investigation. Christopher uncovers a lot of secrets from the investigation of wellingtons murder. After the main conflict, the story is followed by the rising action phase in plot development. At this phase, Christopher discovers that his dad was the one who killed the dog. He also learns that his parent especially his mother had an affair with Mr. Shears as well as Mrs. Shear and his father also had an affair. Christopher also learns that his mother died as a lie according to his father and that she was still alive. The plot then gets to climax when Christopher is knowing that his father knew the truth about his discovery, he becomes so afraid that his father would kill him he decides to escape to London alone on a quest to find his mother. After the climax the plot the gets to the falling action when Christopher after finds him in London and tries to apologize to him (Charon, 2016). He doesn't want to talk to him after and he still insisted on wanting to stay with his mother. The final phase of the plot is the denouement where Christopher father buys him a golden puppy and later Christopher takes the mathematics test and gradually, he builds a relationship with father. This is an example of modern literature as the plot and conflict are properly laid out.
The novel expresses both interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict. In the case of interpersonal conflict, there is visible friction between Christopher and his father when he learns of his deceit, that he was the one who had killed Wellington the dog. After that, he runs away and goes to London where he goes to live with his mother. This maintains a realistic nature in the novel, most children tend to run away from their homes after fighting with their parents. There is also conflict between Christopher's parents. Judy Boone, his mother grows tired of taking care of Christopher and when Ed, Christopher's father tries to calm her, she hits him. From then, threw gradually grow apart and eventually part. This is also caused by Judy's affair with Shear whom she ends up moving in with. This upsets Ed so much that he does not want to ever see either of them again in his lifetime. Interpersonal conflict is shown in the novel in its main character, Christopher. This conflict is as a result of his disabilities which limit how he thinks and his actions in his daily life. towards others. This, in turn, limit his overall behavior towards others. He tries to prove his worth to others by taking the A levels tests in his school. There is also conflict between Christopher the society as a result of his ASD condition. This hinders the wary he interacts with the society who judge him harshly in a lot of instances.
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