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A close study of style, perspective, tense and privet, including a reader reaction to the last sentence on pages 56 and 57 in "Spies" by Michael Frayn

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Introduction

A close study of style, perspective, tense and privet, including a reader reaction to the last sentence on pages 56 and 57 in "Spies" by Michael Frayn "Spies" by Michael Frayn is a very effective and well written novel. Frayn incorporates a variety of techniques and methods in the story making it not only well crafted, but also successful. This can be seen not only throughout the novel as a whole, but particularly so over pages fifty-six and fifty seven (part of chapter three). Looking mainly at Frayn's writing style, as we have already seen, he mostly sticks to using the narrator as a tool to describe events that are happening in the novel. There are, of course, times when Frayn uses direct speech to describe any occurrences. Over these two pages, there is a substantial decrease in reported speech, and an increase in direct speech between both Keith and Stephen. The use of direct speech here gives the narrative an 'edge': "we'll do it after school / what about when it's tea or supper? ...read more.

Middle

He [Stephen] is undoubtedly confused. It also succeeds into answering any questions the reader wants answered. If they wanted to know what Keith meant, they were about to get the answer! In that respect, therefore, the use of rhetorical questions has a double-effect. The tenses that Frayn switches between in his work are intriguing. The narrator uses the present tense when describing things that happened in the past, when the narrator was his own younger self. Up to now, Frayn has mainly considered the narrator and the young Stephen as two separate entities, but over these two pages, the narrator is seen to reflect back to his younger self - to Stephen : "I shiver", despite being in the past tense. The narrator tells us that he can see "candles flickering, and the deep darkness of the night outside". All the description culminates to the effect of making the reader see the surroundings very vividly, in effect, making them involved. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this sentence also could be significant as to foreshadow future events. "a lonely road ... where no one else can follow" holds strong links to their futile attempts to follow Mrs Hayward. They can never seem to keep the chase up as they continually lose her. The "long journey" though, still, undoubtedly refers to the mission that they boys are on. The reader would probably not pick up on the second point, not having read the book through before. It would, therefore, act as an incentive to carry on reading to find out just what the "long journey" holds for the two boys. In conclusion, it can be seen that Frayn is very effective at using a wide range of techniques such as style, perspective, irony, rhetorical questions and double meanings (to name but just a few, over just two pages) to get reader response. The two pages are two very vivid pages, which clearly engage the reader, and provide subtle clues as to what they can expect the story to offer. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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