The main character in Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is Christopher Boone, who is also the narrator. Christopher is a 15-year-old boy who is highly intelligent but has behavioral problems. The narrative suggests that he is neurodivergent; the book does not specify a particular condition or syndrome, but it is likely that Christopher has a condition such as Asperger’s or autism. Christopher frequently struggles to understand other people and relies heavily on math and reasoning to put the world around him into an order he can understand. 

The most important secondary characters in the novel are Christopher’s parents, Ed and Judy, who each deal with Christopher’s behavioral problems in different ways. For the first half of the novel, Judy only appears in flashbacks because Ed has told Christopher that Judy is dead. 


Here, you can read an extract from our character analysis: 

Christopher wants more independence

Although Christopher speaks and acts in ways that might seem childish to readers, over the course of the novel he tries to become more independent. For example, he is determined to sit his math A level exam because he sees it as a step toward going to university and organizing his own life. 

As the story progresses, Christopher pushes himself to take a number of steps that will seem easy to most readers, but which Christopher finds very difficult. For example, when investigating Wellington’s death, he decides to go and talk to his neighbors even though he is afraid of people he doesn’t know: “I do not like strangers because I do not like people I have never met before. They are hard to understand.” (p. 45). Similarly, he decides to try to chat to Mrs Alexander, which frightens him: “If you are a detective you have to Take Risks and this was a Super Good Day which meant it was a good day for Taking Risks, so I said, ‘Do you know Mr Shears?’ which was like chatting.” (p. 72)

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