2024 : 7 : 25

Sara Saei ِDibavar

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
Education: PhD.
Faculty: Department of literature
Address: University of Mazandaran
Phone: 01135302695


An Analysis of Autistic Characters in Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Sabina Berman’s Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World in the Light of Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto”
anthropocentricism, dualism, cyborg, autism, becoming, posthuman
Researchers Alireza Neyestani(Student)، Farshid Nowrouzi Roshnavand(Advisor)، Sara Saei ِDibavar(PrimaryAdvisor)


Discrimination, destruction, and death have been the souvenirs of anthropocentricism. Once humankind granted himself superiority and domination over nature and other beings, it gradually paved the way for human beings to freely practice abuse on animals and misuse nature to their own benefits. As hierarchical thinking naturalized through human society, it also affected various groups of people such as people of color or the disabled: they were deemed to be closer to animals and thus deserved to be mistreated. However, recent findings on animal intelligence have had a great impact on anthropocentric logic. Therefore, Donna Haraway introduced her notion of ‘cyborg’ in “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985) to advertise a deconstructive weltanschauung against hierarchical thinking. According to the definition, cyborg figure is a hybrid post-human body that is untouched by polar dichotomies and is capable of ‘becoming’ animal or machine. Interestingly enough, since autistic people who – on grounds of their supposedly intellectual ‘disability’ – have long been exiled from the so-called normal society, started to author autobiographies, their projected self-image as a cyborg figure has attracted ample attention: bodies sharing close affinities with animals, robots, nature, and environment. Responding to this novel approach to autistic experience, Mark Haddon and Sabina Berman have presented autistic protagonists in their novels: Christopher Boone in Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003) looks for the murderer of his neighbor’s dog while efficiently deconstructing readers’ presuppositions; likewise, Karen Nieto in Berman’s Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World (2012) emerges in the book as a feral child unable to speak, but becomes an engineer in slaughtering tuna fish. This thesis, hence, applies a Harawayian reading to these novels to examine the autistic characters in both novels in an attempt to investigate the moral outcome of employing autistic-being-in-the-world as an inclusive point of view.