The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Mark Haddon

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How is Judy portrayed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and why is she important?

Quick answer:

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Judy is kindhearted but has felt trapped by her role as Christopher's mother. By the end of the play, she seems to have found a way of fulfilling this role without sacrificing her independence. She is important not only as Christopher's mother but as the character who presents the greatest challenge to him and his idiosyncratic view of the world.

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Judy is presented in the play as a well-intentioned woman attempting to do her best under difficult circumstances. She wants to be a good mother to Christopher but is not prepared to sacrifice her entire life to him. She seems to have left Ed because she believed that there was no other way of being Christopher's mother and Ed's wife than to give up any hope of an independent existence. At the end of the play, she seems to have found a more balanced way of functioning as a mother to Christopher and seems to be warmer in her attitude to Ed as well. At the very least, she is trying to encourage Christopher to repair his relationship with his father.

Judy is an important character in the play for a number of reasons. First, she is Christopher's mother. Then, she is a central part of the mystery he has to solve. At the beginning of the play, Christopher believes she is dead, while at the end of the play, he is living with her. Judy is also the character in the play who loves Christopher but is least prepared to accommodate his peculiarities. If Christopher is to develop emotionally, and to see life from the perspective of others, Judy is the character who is most likely to teach him this.

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