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Kirsten Spencer's Monomyth Project

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FC: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time | by Kirsten Spencer | and The Monomyth

1: The Hero's Journey:

2: The Call to Adventure | The call in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is when the main character, Christopher Boone, discovers that Wellington, his neighbor's dog, was murdered (Haddon 1). This makes Christopher very sad and he can't stop wondering who would've done such a thing. Christopher's father tells him to "just try and keep your nose out of other people's business," but Christopher replies by saying, "I am going to find out who killed Wellington" (Haddon 20). As part of his investigation, Christopher begins writing a "murder mystery novel" (Haddon 4).

3: Refusal of the Call | The refusal in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is when Christopher's dad makes Christopher promise to stop asking people about who killed Wellington. This promise was a serious thing because Christopher never breaks his promises, and his father knew that which is why he makes him promise (Haddon 50). Although Christopher doesn't break his promise that he makes to his dad, he does find away around it by asking people instead about his suspects for who killed Wellington (Haddon 56).

4: Supernatural Aid | The supernatural aid in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is Mrs. Alexander, one of Christopher's neighbors. She is an old woman who is very caring towards Christopher. She helps him in his journey by being supportive of his detective work (Haddon 40). She's the one who confides in Christopher that his father hated Mr. Shears (who was Christopher's prime suspect for who killed Wellington) because Christopher's mother left his father for Mr. Shears (Haddon 60). Mrs. Alexander regrets telling Christopher this information, but it helps him realize what kind of a person Mr. Shears is.

5: Crossing the First Threshold | The crossing of the first threshold in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is when Christopher leaves his home and spends the night hiding in the garden, just to get away from his father (Haddon 124, 126). Christopher is afraid of his father after he finds out that he was the one who killed Wellington (Haddon 120). Christopher also feels like he can't trust his father after finding out that he had been hiding letters that his mother had been sending him for the past couple of years. Up until that point, Christopher's father had told him that his mother was dead: "Mother had not died. Mother had been alive all the time. And Father had lied about this" (Haddon 112). Christopher learning all of this is what led up to the crossing of the first threshold: him leaving his home.

6: The Belly of the Whale | Since Christopher feels like he can't trust his father anymore, he leaves his home and decides to weigh his options. He could: stay in the garden, go live with Mrs. Shears, go live with his Uncle Terry, go live with his mother, or go back home (Haddon 130). He decides that the only option that would work would be to go to London to live with his mother (Haddon 131). During the beginning of his journey, he's nervous because he's never been this far away from home, but he realizes he can't go back because he's also afraid of his father (Haddon 136).

7: The Road of Trials | During the road of trials in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Christopher travels to London to his mother's house. Along the way, Christopher is almost taken back home to his father after being caught by the police (Haddon 159) but escapes by hiding on a train (Haddon 163). Later, he narrowly escapes being hit by a train (Haddon 182). Not only did he encounter physical obstacles, but also social ones as well. On his journey, after being sheltered his whole life, he learns how to be on his own and what goes on in the real world. He also deals with his autism and how it affects himself and other people.

8: The Meeting with the Goddess | The goddess in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is Christopher's teacher, Siobhan. Throughout his journey, Christopher is reminded of her words of advice. Siobhan is always supportive of Christopher and gives him good advice. She helps him not only when dealing with academics but also when dealing with social situations. She's one of the few people who Christopher respects and trusts. Christopher uses what she taught him to help him on his journey, like taking deep breaths and counting to 50 when he's angry or scared (Haddon 137) or doing something that has a rhythm to it, like drumming, when he's nervous (Haddon 154).

9: Temptation Away from the True Path | The temptation from the true path in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is Christopher's neighbor, Mrs. Shears. She is very selfish, and a constant source of negativity for Christopher. She tries to discourage him and put him down because she thinks he's stupid and can't do anything for himself. In order to continue his journey, Christopher didn't let her opinion of him stop him. At first, Mrs. Shears had been decent towards Christopher and his dad after Christopher's mother left them, but eventually Mrs. Shears left Christopher's dad because she wasn't patient or kind enough to deal with Christopher and his autism. His dad, talking about why he was upset with Mrs. Shears and why he killed her dog, said, "All I could think was that she cared more about that bloody dog than she did about you or me" (Haddon 122).

10: Atonement with the Father | The atonement with the father in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time takes place between Christopher and his own father. Ever since Christopher found out that he killed Wellington, he had been afraid of his father. Also, Christopher felt like he couldn't trust his father since he had lied to him about his mother. In the end, they have a talk. Christopher's father pleads with him: "You have to learn to trust me...And I don't care how long it takes...because this is more important than anything else" (Haddon 218). Christopher, although he doesn't completely forgive him at first, agrees to give him a chance to prove that he can trust him. As a present, his father gives him a puppy.

11: Apotheosis | The apotheosis in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is when Christopher completes his journey and reunites with his mother. He did this all on his own, which made him even more proud. Also, he finally takes his A level math exam, which he had been wanting to take for a long. He scores an A on it, which is the best grade possible (Haddon 220). These accomplishments made him more confident as an individual.

12: Refusal of the Return | After arriving at his mother's house, at first, Christopher didn't want to go back home because of his father. He felt comfortable around his mother and liked living with her. However, his mother decided to leave London with Christopher and go back to live in Swindon, where his father was. When his mother told him that they were going back to Swindon, he said "Is Father going to be there?...I don't want to be with Father" (Haddon 207).

13: Master of the Two Worlds | Christopher realizes all that he has accomplished, like going to London alone, finding his mother, getting an A on his math exam, figuring out who killed Wellington, and writing a book about all his adventures. When he looks back on all this, he realizes how brave he's been. He then believes that he can accomplish his dreams of getting an A in A level physics, going to a university and getting a First Class Honors Degree, and even becoming a scientist. Regarding his dreams, Christopher said, "And I know I can do this because...I can do anything" (Haddon 221).

14: Works Cited | The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time cover. n.d. PSC Library. Pioneers Read. Web. 10 April 2011. Docklands Light Railway Picture. n.d. Planetware.com. PlanetWare Incorporated. Web. 10 April 2011. Forgiveness. n.d. Dr. Mommy. Dr. Mommy Online. Web. 10 April 2011. Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Vintage Books, 2004. Print. Magnifying glass. n.d. Infectious Disease Program. Eastern Idaho Public Health District. Web. 10 April 2011.

15: Works Cited (cont.) | Miniature Poodle Stacked. 2007. Flickr. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 10 April 2011. Night. n.d. The Houses in the Roses. Blogspot.com. Web. 10 April 2011. No U Turn with Wording Twice Sign. 2010. Sala Graphics. Sala Graphics Incorporated. Web. 10 April 2011. Number One Teacher. n.d. The Mother Tongue. Wordpress.com. Web. 10 April 2011.

16: Works Cited (cont.) | Refusal. n.d. The Skeptical OB. Blogspot.com. Web. 10 April 2011. Scout Promise. n.d. Mount Caramel Ministries. Wordpress. Web. 10 April 2011.

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  • Title: Kirsten Spencer's Monomyth Project
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