The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Summary and Analysis of Section 11

Chapter 179

Christopher hides until dawn, and when he hears his father looking for him in the morning, he squeezed himself between the wall of the shed and the fence and covers himself with the fertilizer sack. When his father leaves in the van, he knows it is safe to come out. He knew he couldn't live with his father anymore so he decides to live with Mrs Shears, but she doesn't answer the door when he knocks.

He decides that going to live with Mother in London was the best option. He knocks on Mrs Alexander's door and asks her to look after Toby, and tells her where he is going and why. Mrs Alexander tries to persuade him to come in and talk, and she suggests ringing his father. Christopher runs away, breaking into his own house. After picking up enough provisions for himself and Toby, he sets off for the train to London.

Chapter 181

Christopher explains that the reason why he doesn't like new places is because he notices everything and when you notice everything in a new place your head feels full and you sometimes feel as though you need to reboot it, like when you press CTRL, ALT and DEL on the computer.

Chapter 191

At the train station, Christopher feels 'giddy and sick' because of all the new things he notices and because of all the people walking around. Christopher calms himself down by - among other things - distracting himself with math problems, putting his hands over his ears and pretending he is in a computer game. After a while a policeman comes up to him and tells Christopher that he has been there for two and a half hours and was acting like he was in a trance. Christopher feels safer with the policeman and answers all of his questions. The policeman takes him to the ATM to get money for the train, and shows him where to get his ticket. Christopher then walks through a difficult underpass and boards the train.

Chapter 193

Christopher explains why he likes timetables and that on weekends he makes a timetable for himself so that he knows what is going to happen. He says he likes them because 'they make sure you don't get lost in time.'

Chapter 197

On the train, Christopher keeps still in an attempt to forget that he is in a train carriage with lots of people. The policeman calls his name and asks him to come with him to meet his father. Christopher doesn't want to go and screams when the policeman tries to touch him. Then the train starts and the policeman is annoyed that he didn't get Christopher off the train in time. They sit down and after a while Christopher goes to the toilet - the policeman tells him he's watching him so he shouldn't try to escape. Near the toilet, Christopher notices a cupboard like one at home, where Christopher used to hide to feel safe. He climbs in and shuts the door. When the train stops at the next station, the policeman frantically looks for Christopher but can't find him - he gets off the train and leaves Christopher behind.

Chapter 199

Christopher explains why it is not so surprising that there are humans in the world and that if you think logically you can work out why everything in the world has happened. He uses this as evidence that there is no God.

Chapter 211

The train stops. Christopher decides to get off the shelf. The policeman had left and had taken his bag. Christopher gets off the train, and to hide from the noisy station he kneels on the ground for awhile. A man goes to fetch a policeman, and Christopher instead finds his way to the entrance to the London Underground. He watches people for a while from the photobooth in the station to learn how to buy a ticket and insert it into the machine. In the Underground, Christopher moans as the train screeches in, not knowing what was causing the noise - he can do nothing because the sound was hurting so much.

Chapter 223

Christopher describes the advertisement on the wall of the train station, because Siobhan had said that he should include descriptions in his story.

Christopher says that you don't need to see new things by going traveling - you just need to look at the earth under a microscope.


For the first time in the novel, the mystery is not Christopher's to solve, but Christopher's to pose; he now has all the answers, and everyone back home must figure out where he has gone. Christopher is no longer the detective, but the detected.

This is the first time Christopher is outside his hometown. This is the second time we see Christopher with a policeman and it is interesting that his views about them have not been tainted by the previous experience: Christopher is pleased to see him because he still associates policemen with order, despite his negative recent encounter.

Christopher’s sole goal is to get to his mother in London. When he hides in the cupboard and evades the police officer, though, his aim is not in losing the police but just in feeling separated and safe. It becomes almost a farce as the grown-up characters fail to foresee how Christopher will respond to these new situations - he outsmarts the police not through cleverness, but just through behaving differently in the world than they expect.

Christopher describes his experience in the train station as though it were a computer game. He uses the game analogy to compartmentalize his observations and make them less threatening. The result is that we are shown the way our daily world can in fact be processed as a series of steps, each of which needs to be learned. To function, Christopher must draw maps and use equations and walk along an invisible red line from point A to point B. We are made to understand just how difficult navigating the world can be for the differently-abled.

Throughout the book, Christopher has included a fair number of charts and maps to illustrate his points. This section includes an even greater number of non-prose artifacts and examples. Not only does he write out his math problems, but he also shows us the patterns of the carpeting and the signs in the tube station. This shows that Christopher is being exposed to a huge range of new sensory input, which he must describe in order to process. It also shows us how much more work he needs to do to compartmentalize this new environment.