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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time


What Does the Ending Mean?

Summary What Does the Ending Mean?

At the end of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Christopher lives with his mother in Swindon and slowly reconciles with his father, who buys him a puppy named Sandy. Christopher passes his A-level mathematics exams, and his exemplary score helps him feel confident about his future as an adult. When Christopher imagines living independently as a scientist, with a flat and a garden of his own, he writes, “And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? And I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.” From Christopher’s point of view, all the events leading to the novel’s conclusion point to his bright future.

Although Christopher has every reason to feel confident in himself, the conflict that exists in his homelife blemishes his emphatic optimism. Christopher still struggles to understand others’ emotions, so the reader must rely on Christopher’s concrete observations for clues about his current situation. One important detail is that his mother starts taking antidepressants, which implies she still struggles with the demands of caring for Christopher, but also that she is receiving professional help for her own needs. His parents are clearly remorseful and want to do right by Christopher, but their previous rash and deceitful behavior is so extreme that Christopher’s final, self-assured proclamation is at once inspiring and disconcerting.