How My Mind Works: A look into Point of View
The protagonist of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is Christopher, a teenage boy straddling the autistic spectrum. The story itself is revealed through the narrative point of view of young Christopher- not necessarily every reader’s cup of tea as we are given a view of the world through his logic-driven eyes.
His calculated narration is particularly helpful when trying to convey fairly complex problems, Christopher uses statistical knowledge, visual representation and mathematical solutions. The range of solutions allows people to gain a richer understanding as well as being able to choose a version that they are most likely to understand. A great example is how he explains the The Monty Hall Problem.
We are told the story of Marilyn vos Savant, a woman with the highest IQ that solved problems sent in via a magazine column. One problem involved having three doors, one in which had a car behind it that you could win and the other two had goats. Marilyn states that one should always pick the last door as the chances were much higher in winning the car- a statement that was highly criticized by the mathematical community.
Christopher goes on to explain that she is in fact true, providing two solutions, shown here: monty hall problem.
Each version appeals to a different audience, one who works with a more mathematical mind and one who responds better to a more visual-based method.
Christopher’s point of view comes off as logical and well thought out. The idea that he is autistic allows the reader to accept his point of view because it seems more objective.
Personally I respond to more visual cues but I appreciate his manner of appealing to two types of people, it definitely validates his opinion.
The fact that he is on the autistic spectrum anchors his reasoning more for the reader as we are shown how he deals with the confusion of the world through his eyes.
It isn’t necessarily a book I would read and enjoy however I can appreciate the unique point of view.
Reference: Haddon, M. (2004). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (pp 78- 82). London: Red Fox.