How far would a parent go to ensure the comfort of their child? What if the child had a mental disability? Children with autism can be difficult to deal with and it can be easy to misconstrue a parent’s intentions toward their disabled child. According to Petra Kuppers’s essay “Dancing Autism: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Bedlam,” an autistic child has a, “distanced view of the rules that make up love, relationships, need, and care,” and therefore can be more challenging to raise (Kuppers 193). Christopher is one such example of an autistic child. In Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Christopher’s father is portrayed in a negative light, but actually proves himself to be an outstanding father.
A clear example of why Christopher’s father is truly a respectable father, as opposed to the way readers may observe him in the novel, is that he repeatedly goes out of his way to make sure that his son stays happy. Because Christopher lives only with his father, it is his father that makes Christopher’s meals. He does not like to have his food touching, and his father accommodates this quirk of Christopher’s, along with many others. This accommodating nature is seen when Christopher describes a dinner that his father has made for him. He says, “The supper was baked beans and broccoli and two slices of ham and they were laid out on the plate so that they were not touching” (Haddon, 47). There are very few parents in the world who would go to such seemingly useless lengths to get their children to eat, but Christopher’s dad sees this peculiarity of his son’s as entirely normal, and does his best to cope with the situation in the way that he sees as best.
Dinners are not the...
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...r what he did wrong, he can earn his son’s trust back again. The new dog is a great start to convincing Christopher that his dad is not really as bad as he once seemed.
Though Christopher’s father does many things in the novel that are either questionable or outright wrong, he is a fantastic father overall. Though he is portrayed in a discouraging light, he probably should not be seen as a bad person. He tries endlessly to be a decent father for Christopher, and repeatedly shows himself to be not only a great person, but a wonderful father as well. Christopher could not ask for a more tolerant, loving person for a dad.
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2003. Print.
Kuppers, Petra. "Dancing Autism: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Bedlam." 28.1-2 (2008): 193-195. Print.
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