Trust is an assured reliance on a person’s character, strength and comfortability, meaning trust plays a major role in all aspects of an average human’s life, it is a pathway to building a comfortable, and safe environment for ourselves and others. Although people rely on one another, they are risking the fact that their trust can be taken advantage of, and could be led to betrayal. In the novel The curious incident of the dog in the night time, trust is something all the characters depend on, Christopher and his father are two of these characters.
Christopher depends on his friends and family for support and for telling him the truth, but due to his lack of social interactions it tends to be very difficult for him to learn how to trust someone, and that if the trust it broken it will be harder to rebuild, his father also learn this. In the novel, Mark Haddon teaches his readers that trust can be easily broken and through the characters actions readers are able to understand how important it is to not break someone’s trust.
Christopher lacks the ability to understand people and what goes inside their minds thus he has difficulty with social interaction; he tends to keep to himself and does not trust many people. However the people he does trust are very important to him and play a major role in his life, and in the novel. This trait of Christopher developed as a child, and was recognized by his teacher, Julie, “That was because when I was little I didn’t understand about other people having minds. And Julie said to Mother and Father that I would always find this very difficult. ” (Haddon 116).
Julie, had said this to Christopher and is parents when he was a young. As a child Christopher could not understand that other people had minds, he felt different and separate from others, and because of this, he would avoid having social interaction with people. Because of his lack of ability to understand people, especially his parents, in the letter Christopher’s mother had written explaining why she had left with Mr. Shields, she questions if Christophopher can comprehend what she was saying, “I wonder if you can understand any of this.
I know it will be very difficult for you. But I hope you can understand a little. (Haddon 109) She hopes that he will understand what she had written. His avoidant nature and lack of communication skills would make Christopher not talk to people and avoid social interactions at all cost, when he is isolated it helps him think about things that are happening in his life, “Sometimes when I want to be on my own I get into the airing cupboard outside the bathroom and slide in beside the boiler and pull the door closed behind me and sit there and think for hours and it makes me feel very calm” (Haddon 63) by doing this Christopher tunes out everything that is surrounding him.
However this isn’t the only way Christopher avoids social interaction, “… I heard Father come home in his van and I moved the bed up against the door so he couldn’t get in… ” (Haddon 264) he would block others out mentally and psychically. At points he would not talk to people for a long time as he stated as one of his behavioral problems “These are some of my Behavioural Problems A. Not talking to people for a long time” (Haddon 57) meaning that not talking to someone for a long time would not affect him.
Due to Christopher’s lack of social interaction, he does not trust many people meaning that the trust he does hold in people are very important to him, however, his trust can be abused and it is by someone who was very important to him. His trust was abused by his father when he told Christopher that he had killed Mrs. Shears dog, Wellington. His trust was broken and this had scared Christopher so much that it caused him to run away from home “I was cold and I was frightened Father might come out and find me. But I felt safer in the garden because I was hidden. (Haddon 126)
Christopher believed that because of his father harming wellington, Christopher’s father was also capable of harming Christopher as well. Christopher was so terrified that he could not return home because of his worry for his self being. “And I was shaking and I wanted to be back at home, and then I realised I couldn’t be at home because Father was there and he told a lie and he killed Wellington which meant that it wasn’t my home any more, my home was 4510 Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG and it scared me, having a wrong thought like I wish I was back at home again because it meant my mind wasn’t working properly. (Haddon 129)
Christopher begins to feel betrayed by his own mind, which worries him even more, as well as feeling betrayed by his father. Christopher was not the only character that had realized that trust could be broken easily. Christopher’s mother and father had learned this when they had broken off their relationship, as their was no trust left to keep the relationship healthy, or to build the relationship off of. Christopher’s father had learned that withholding the truth was not always the right way to hide something, as every lie does have consequences and can never be held a secret.
Christopher had found out about his mother being alive from Mrs. Alexander and from the letters he had found in the cupboard “Mother had not had a heart attack. Mother had not died. Mother had been alive all the time. And Father had lied about this. ” (Haddon 112). Lies may be told to benefit others but it can not always be beneficial even if they meant it to be, “I did it for your good, Christopher. Honestly did. I never meant to lie. I just thought… I just thought it was better if you didn’t know… that… that. .. I didn’t mean to … was going to show them to you when you were older. (Haddon 114), but in this case, it had not benefited both of them.
This lie had broken the trust between the two leading christopher to fend for himself and run away from home, because he did not feel safe. Christopher was not capable of taking care of himself as he had never had anyone take care of him other than his father, mother and his teacher, Siobhan. In conclusion, In the novel, Mark Haddon teaches his readers that trust can be easily broken and through the characters actions readers are able to understand how important it is to not break someone’s trust.
The characters had learned that trust could be easily broken and after a long period of time it could be built back, they also learned that withholding the truth can break the trust in a relationship. Christopher had regained his trust with his father after he had been brought home, and learned that he needed him. His avoidant nature was still present as it is a part of him that may never go away. However his father had learned that the truth may not always be beneficial and that he should tell the truth more often than lying.