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Autism in Modern Literature

            "People believe in God because the world is very complicated and they think it is very unlikely that anything as complicated as a flying squirrel or the human eye or a brain could happen by chance. But they should think logically and if they thought logically they would see that they can only ask this question because it has already happened and they exist." Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time 164.
             For decades, both media and literature have depicted autistic children with varying perspectives. Contrary to the innocence often portrayed through youth characters, Mark Haddon painted the main character of his award-winning novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Christopher Boone, as an autistic young adult faced with challenges in his life, including the discovery of the murder of his neighbor's dog. Haddon utilizes Christopher's autistic disability to his advantage, and tries to deliver a realistic take on autism through his literature. Haddon's work, supported by many authors, helps to analyze to what extent an individual with autism is responsible for conflicts that arise as a consequence of his or her actions. Since the novel's first publication in 2003, Haddon has received praise for his "[superb] portrayal of an emotionally disassociated mind" and how accurately it expresses the autistic mind (Novel of the Decade). However, Haddon also accepted criticism for poorly diagnosing Christopher with his condition (Schofield).1 Critics have brought forth additional attempts to read and analyze Haddon's intriguing novel.
             Christopher Boone is the mathematically gifted protagonist of the novel. He struggles for social acceptance, and feels comfortable dividing his experiences as likes and dislikes. He is placed in an irresistibly puzzling situation upon finding his neighbor Ms. Shears' dog, Wellington, murdered with a pitchfork, in the Shears' backyard.

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