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How is Christopher an unreliable narrator in Curious Incident of the Dog in the...

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aneesai | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 3, 2010 at 3:20 AM via web

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How is Christopher an unreliable narrator in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?

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kalick | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM (Answer #1)

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I can address the idea of Christopher as an unreliable narrator.  There are many instances in the novel when the reader can piece together more of the situation than Christopher himself.  For example, a careful reader can figure out Christopher's mother has been having an affair with the neighbor's husband without Christopher having to mention the fact--or even realize it.  His voice as an unreliable narrator adds humor to tense situations (like in the opening scene where he punches the police officer) and offers a unique perspective throughout the story.  The title itself seems like one that Christopher would pick out.  Not many people would describe a deadly attack on a dog as "curious"--it seems far too understated. Unreliable narrators may be limited to their own skewed perspective of reality but careful readers can usually re-create what is actually going on by piecing together subtle details the narrator himself may not understand.

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