The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Maths A Level Symbol Analysis

Maths A Level Symbol Icon

The Maths A level is an exam that British students take as a step towards qualifying for university study. Throughout the book, the A level represents Christopher’s dreams for his future. He wants to go to university and become a scientist, and the A level is the first step for him out of his school and out of Swindon. Because he’s the first student from his special needs school to ever take an A level, the test proves to him and the world that he doesn’t have to lower his expectations for himself just because he’s autistic. He can use his different way of seeing the world to succeed. Some of Christopher’s lowest points occur when he is living with his mother in London and in Swindon and he thinks he might not be able to take the A level. In these moments, he sees the entire life he’s imagined collapsing around himself. Not only has it ended up that his mother is alive, but if he can’t take the test, his imagined future falls to shreds. Once Christopher gets a top grade on the exam, though, he feels confident about his ability to become a scientist, and he has passed another hurdle on his way to becoming an adult.

Maths A Level 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 all refer to the symbol of Maths A Level. 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 233 Quotes

And then, when I’ve done that, I am going to go to university in another town... And I can live in a flat with a garden and a proper toilet. And I can take Sandy and my books and my computer.

And then I will get a First Class Honors degree and I will become a scientist.

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.

Related Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone (speaker), Judy Boone (Christopher’s mother), Wellington, Sandy
Related Symbols: Dogs, Maths A Level
Page Number: 220-21
Explanation and Analysis:

Christopher has received an A on his A level exam, and he has begun to study for the next exam. In these closing paragraphs of the novel, he dreams of his future. These ambitions are the same ones he has spoken of since the beginning of the story—but at the beginning, they seemed much more far-fetched and difficult to achieve. When he was consumed by fear of his father and the need to find his mother, his dreams sank to the back of his mind, and he even thought for a while that he wouldn’t be able to take his A level, the one concrete gateway to university.

Over the course of the book, Christopher has overcome all of the challenges that came his way, and now he’s done well on his A level, too. Now that his life is back on track, his recent experiences add up to show his ability to face whatever comes. He has matured emotionally, and now he feels unstoppable.

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Maths A Level Symbol Timeline in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The timeline below shows where the symbol Maths A Level 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 71
Growing Up Theme Icon
Christopher is going to prove his intelligence by getting a top grade on the Maths A level exam, a university qualifying exam. His father had to argue with the principal, Mrs. Gascoyne,... (full context)
Chapter 97
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...alone. He tells her about what he likes, and that he’s going to take the Maths A level . Mrs. Alexander is impressed. (full context)
Chapter 233
Growing Up Theme Icon
...comes home, Christopher tells her that he has to return to Swindon to take his Maths A level . Judy is impressed he’s going to take the test, but she isn’t sure whether... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...Judy gets fired from her job. Christopher reminds her that he has to take his A level , but Judy is trying to deal with both Ed and Roger’s anger, and tells... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
...Heath, a park. She tells him that she’s called the school principal to cancel the A level . Christopher screams until a man comes to make sure everything is all right. (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...and puts him back inside. Then he asks Judy if he can still do his Maths A level , but she says that it’s already been cancelled. Christopher is so upset that he... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Trust Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
...it up and take it away. Christopher finds out he got an A on his Maths A level , and he’s very happy. He names the dog Sandy and takes him for walks.... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Truth, Love, and Safety Theme Icon
Christopher buys a book to study for the next A level test in math, and he plans to take A level Physics after that. Then he’ll... (full context)