The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapter 197 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The train Christopher gets on is crowded. It reminds him of a time when his mother gave two other children a ride home from school, and the car was so crowded that Christopher tried to get out while it was moving and had to get stitches in his head.
This memory shows the lengths that Christopher will go to in order to get out of a crowded space. It could be a cause of concern since he’s getting on a crowded train, but it also proves that his tolerance for crowded spaces has improved.
Themes
Growing Up Theme Icon
Suddenly the policeman shows up on the train, because Ed has come to the station looking for Christopher. Christopher tries to run away because he doesn’t want the policeman to take him back to his father, but the policeman stops him. Christopher reveals that the police should arrest Ed for killing Wellington. Just as the policeman tries to grab Christopher again, the train begins to move. The policeman radios a colleague to meet him at the next station and makes Christopher sit down next to him.
Christopher’s shaky relationship with the police takes a turn for the worse here. His fear of his father has not abated, however, as proven when he asks the policeman to arrest Ed. The policeman ends up looking rather foolish as he gets caught on the train, in a moment of physical comedy for the narrative.
Themes
Trust Theme Icon
Christopher looks out the window of the train. At first there are too many objects for him to handle, but then he realizes it feels like the train is flying. He thinks about all the miles of train track all over the world, and what they all pass by, and how many people have their own complete lives. He feels overwhelmed, closes his eyes, and groans.
As Christopher often does, he takes his present situation on the train and thinks about how he’s connected to the rest of the world, giving him a sense of the entirety of humanity. Though he often enjoys this feeling, it now overwhelms him on top of everything else that he has to worry about.
Themes
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
When Christopher opens his eyes, the policeman is reading a newspaper. Christopher solves quadratic equations in his head. He needs to urinate, but he doesn’t realize there’s a bathroom on the train, so he leaks on his pants. The policeman notices and shows him the way to the bathroom. Christopher doesn’t want to use the toilet because there’s poop on it, but he forces himself to anyway.
Christopher continues to use math to keep himself calm. His assumption that there wouldn’t be a bathroom on the train shows how inexperienced a traveler he is. However, he overcomes another obstacle by using the dirty bathroom, since earlier he refused to use his school bathroom when a student got it filthy, even though it had been cleaned.
Themes
Growing Up Theme Icon
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When Christopher leaves the bathroom, he climbs onto a luggage shelf and closes himself in with a suitcase so that he’ll feel safe. When the train slows down, the policeman comes looking for him in the bathroom and discovers that he’s gone. Christopher watches but stays quiet. The policeman leaves. When the train stops, a woman sees Christopher and tells him the policeman is looking for him, but Christopher doesn’t reply. Finally, the train starts again.
Christopher doesn’t consider what people will think of his hiding on the luggage rack, and he doesn’t even mean to hide from the policeman. He only seeks a feeling of safety, which he knows he’ll find in this enclosed space. Nonetheless, this unconventional decision ends up throwing the policeman off his trail.
Themes
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon