The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Christopher’s main teacher. Siobhan is one of the few people whom Christopher completely trusts. She helps him understand the way other people act, and she seems to understand more than almost anyone how his mind works. She also guides his writing, assigning him a writing task initially and then giving him advice on his book as he goes.

Siobhan Quotes in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time quotes below are all either spoken by Siobhan or refer to Siobhan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Growing Up Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time published in 2004.
Chapter 7 Quotes

This is a murder mystery novel.

Siobhan said that I should write something I would want to read myself. Mostly I read books about science and maths. I do not like proper novels...

But I do like murder mystery novels. So I am writing a murder mystery novel.

In a murder mystery novel someone has to work out who the murderer is and then catch them. It is a puzzle. If it is a good puzzle you can sometimes work out the answer before the end of the book.

Siobhan said that the book should begin with something to grab people’s attention. That is why I started with the dog.

Related Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone (speaker), Siobhan, Wellington
Page Number: 4-5
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage occurs near the beginning of the book, just after Christopher discovers Wellington dead. Christopher is an unusual first person narrator, in that he narrates with frequent explicit references to actually writing the book. He is very open about his writing process and the input that his teacher Siobhan gives him. Thus, the narration is very conscious of itself as existing within the medium of a book. In this passage, he clearly states his intentions in writing—simply to write a book that he would like to read. As the world is generally not very accommodating to people with autism, Christopher’s mission to write a book with someone like himself as the audience is actually a rather radical idea.

Throughout the book, Christopher often mentions how much he likes puzzles, and he thinks of difficult social concepts as puzzles as a way to make it easier for him to figure them out. Thus, it makes sense that he is trying to create a puzzle himself. In fact, he more or less invites the reader to try to solve the puzzle even as he tries to solve the mystery himself. Because he struggles to understand people, it’s likely that the reader will be able to put the clues together before he does, even though he’s the one giving the reader access to the clues.

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Chapter 109 Quotes

But I don’t feel sad about it. Because Mother is dead. And because Mr. Shears isn’t around any more. So I would be feeling sad about something that isn’t real and doesn’t exist. And that would be stupid.

Related Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone (speaker), Judy Boone (Christopher’s mother), Siobhan, Roger Shears
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

Christopher tells Siobhan this after she reads his account of Mrs. Alexander’s revelation concerning his mother. Siobhan is worried that Christopher might be upset about it, even if he isn’t acknowledging his feelings to himself. However, Christopher insists that it would be stupid to feel sad about the situation. He manages to an admirable extent to live in the present moment, as he argues for the irrationality of being upset by saying that since the affair is over and his mother is dead, it’s now irrelevant to his life. This attitude also relates to his need for logic and facts. He says the affair “doesn’t exist,” which is, in theory, true, because he believes it’s now nothing more than an intangible memory. As something that’s now only thought of, the affair ends up in a similar category as lies, which Christopher avoids thinking about. However, the information about the affair will soon have tangible consequences, and Christopher will be forced to consider it more deeply.

Chapter 131 Quotes

Mrs. Forbes said that hating yellow and brown is just being silly. And Siobhan said that she shouldn’t say things like that and everyone has favorite colors. And Siobhan was right. But Mrs. Forbes was a bit right, too. Because it is sort of being silly. But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don’t take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have a reason why you hate some things and you like others. It is like being in a restaurant... and you look at the menu and you have to choose what you are going to have... so you have favorite foods and you choose these, and you have foods you don’t like and you don’t choose these, and then it is simple.

Related Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone (speaker), Siobhan, Mrs. Forbes
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

One of Christopher’s personal rules in life is to avoid anything yellow or brown, particularly food, because he doesn’t like these colors. He acknowledges that this is somewhat arbitrary, and perhaps foolish, but he also thinks it isn’t as absurd as Mrs. Forbes thinks. Although it seems strange to most people, he points out that most people have likes and dislikes, and this phenomenon actually helps them move through life in a more efficient way. If people didn’t have preferences, they would never be able to make all of the rather insignificant decisions that come their way on a daily basis. Christopher’s logic thus manages to make a preference that initially seems strange actually make sense. Although his autism makes him react to many situations in ways that at first seem illogical or unwarranted, he usually has a good reason for acting as he does.

Chapter 223 Quotes

And Siobhan says people go on holidays to see new things and relax, but it wouldn’t make me relaxed and you can see new things by looking at earth under a microscope or drawing the shape of the solid made when 3 circular rods of equal thickness intersect at right angles. And I think that there are so many things just in one house that it would take years to think about all of them properly. And, also, a thing is interesting because of thinking about it and not because of being new.

Related Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone (speaker), Siobhan
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

Sitting in the London tube station, terrified of the trains moving through the tunnel, Christopher describes an advertisement on the wall for a vacation in Malaysia. Due to the stress of new and strange places, Christopher does not enjoy vacations. Instead, Christopher appreciates the everyday world around him to a depth that few people do. He finds wonder in all the little details of nature and life, and he appreciates the simple fact of having a brain that can pick apart all of these details and find them interesting. Christopher derives much more pleasure from logic and intellectual discovery than from novelty or exoticism.

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Siobhan Character Timeline in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The timeline below shows where the character Siobhan appears in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...about geography and prime numbers. Eight years ago, he tells us, he met his teacher Siobhan. She showed him pictures of cartoon faces with various expressions, but he couldn’t say which... (full context)
Chapter 7
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...likes reading murder mysteries because they’re like puzzles, so he’s writing one with his teacher Siobhan’s guidance. (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Siobhan tells Christopher that this mystery is different than most because a dog, rather than a... (full context)
Chapter 47
Growing Up Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...it’s a good day, Christopher plans to investigate Wellington’s death. He mentions this intention to Siobhan, who suggests that he write about his experience finding Wellington dead. Thus, Christopher begins writing... (full context)
Chapter 59
Trust Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...told him to “stay out of other people’s business,” but people’s business could mean anything. Siobhan understands this problem, so she always gives him very specific instructions concerning what he should... (full context)
Chapter 89
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Back at school, Christopher shows Siobhan what he’s written so far and tells her he has to stop his detective work,... (full context)
Chapter 103
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
Christopher goes into the garden and decides to write a description of it, because Siobhan has told him that books should include descriptions of people and places so that readers... (full context)
Chapter 109
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
Christopher brings his book to school the next day, and Siobhan reads it. She asks him about Mrs. Alexander’s revelation about his mother and Mr. Shears.... (full context)
Chapter 113
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...haven’t actually happened. His mother used to imagine herself living an idyllic in France, and Siobhan imagines herself on vacation on Cape Cod. Sometimes people ask Christopher what his mother would... (full context)
Chapter 131
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
...one of the teachers, told Christopher that it was silly to hate yellow and brown. Siobhan, on the other hand, said that everyone has favorite colors. Christopher thinks they were both... (full context)
Chapter 149
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
At school on Monday, Siobhan notices the bruise on Christopher’s face, and wants to know if his father hit him.... (full context)
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...been dotted with circles, and the only people he knows who write this way are Siobhan, another teacher, and Christopher’s mother. Christopher hears his father coming into the house, so he... (full context)
Chapter 179
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...Toby in his jacket pocket and begins walking to school so that he can ask Siobhan how to get to the train station. (full context)
Chapter 223
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Perspective and the Absurdity of the World Theme Icon
Christopher describes the advertisement that’s on the wall of the train station, because Siobhan told him to include descriptions in his book. The ad is for a vacation in... (full context)
Chapter 233
Growing Up Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...Mrs. Shears emerges to insult Judy. They drive away quickly. At school, Judy explains to Siobhan that Christopher is upset about the exam. Christopher draws a picture of a bus. After... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
The next day, Siobhan helps Christopher relax before he takes the next part of his exam. That night, Mr.... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...part of his exam. He wants to write how he solved his favorite question, but Siobhan tells him it isn’t very interesting for his readers. He feels better because he’s finished... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Christopher is worried about his exam results. He doesn’t know what the future holds. Siobhan tells him to try not to think about the future. Judy buys him a puzzle... (full context)