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‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time’ (By Mark Haddon) in Comparison with

It is the rules, patterns and timetables of life that holds us together. When they are gone, there is only fear. In both “…Curious Incident” and “Rain Man”, how true is this statement?
Routine is a common trait of many. It is clear to any observer that individuals and even society as a whole greatly depends on routines, patterns and timetables, but one must ask themselves whether the foundation of sanity, of people’s very functionality, depends on the rules by which we base our life on?

Hope is another emotion felt when the timetables of life are taken away, which proves that not only fear is felt when this occurs. Despite the difficult and fearsome proceedings many of the characters experience, may still feel that there is still reason for optimism, that there is still room for hope. This means that although fear is a predominant factor in what the characters are feeling, hope and optimism still exist, even while this fear is present. This is seen in the case of Raymond Babbitt, an Autistic man who is extremely in ground into his daily routine, the varying of which causes great him distress. When Raymond is “kidnapped” by his brother Charlie, he is taken away from his world of habit, and instead thrust strait into a world without the guidelines and strict rules he so greatly upholds. And yet, viewers are shown the trace of a connection between Raymond and Charlie, and both -particularly Charlie- have the hope for a relationship that would greatly benefit both men.  In comparison, if Raymond were to remain in the asylum, and not venture outside of his regular lifestyle, he would not have been able to hope for this sort of connection with another human being. This shows that hope can be felt alongside fear also when the patterns of life are removed from our lifestyle and it is clear that it is not fear alone that is experienced when this happens.

When the rules, patterns and timetables of life are removed, a trait that emerges as a result of this is opportunity, showing that there is more than just fear present. Although fear is very prevailing, in the moments when the schedules of life are voluntary or involuntary broken, out of the change in normal behaviour an opportunity that would have otherwise been unavailable may then presents itself, proving that it is not only fear which is present. An example of this is seen when Christopher Boone, who, because of his Aspergers Syndrome, finds it very hard to function outside of the safety of the rules, and guidelines which routine provides. When Christopher decides to talk to strangers, something which he does not normally do, in an attempt to gain information on who killed the neighbour’s dog Wellington, he does feel very scared and frightened. However, he is also presented with an opportunity to discover more than he otherwise would have, about the current mystery, and the one concerning his own Mother and Father.  “I decided that I would go and ask some of the other people in our street if they had seen anyone killing wellington…Talking to strangers is not something I usually do…They are hard to understand…it’s like being in France…you couldn’t understand what anyone was saying, which was frightening. ” (p.45)This shows that when although Christopher felt fear when he disregarded the rules that normally governed his life; he was also given an opportunity to learn more about the dogs mystery, as well as the vagueness surrounding his own family, showing that evidently, it is not only fear that is present.

Therefore, upon careful analysis, it can be seen that in both ‘Rain Man’ and ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ there are clear examples where it is not only fear that is present in the moments where the routines, patterns and timetables of life are disregarded. Rather, there are many other elements present, such as courage, hope and opportunity, all of which may not only have a significant influence on the characters choices, but may even be more dominant that fear itself.

By “Peanut” (R.M from KDC)

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