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Frayn presents Keith's mother, Mrs Hayward in many different ways by his use of imagery, metaphors and irony. From being a perfect, composed lady who is always in control of her emotions, through

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Consider the ways Frayn presents Keith's mother Frayn presents Keith's mother, Mrs Hayward in many different ways by his use of imagery, metaphors and irony. From being a perfect, composed lady who is always in control of her emotions, through a series of culmination, Mrs Hayward gradually develops emotionally and her false facade is unveiled as the vulnerable, passionate woman who searches love and dreams emerge from within her. At the beginning of the story, Frayn uses the third person to portray Keith's mother. She is portrayed as being overly controlled, passive and calm-'She spoke softly and smilingly, with a kind of calm amusement at the world.' This gives the reader the impression that she is at ease with others and seems trouble free and relaxed at all times. This perfect image projected links to the 'perfection' of the Hayward's house as the house is a metaphor for Keith's mother; perfect on the outside yet insecure and vulnerable on the inside. Here, Frayn has created a fa´┐Żade that masks Mrs Hayward's true nature. ...read more.


This firmly shows the serious and sinister side of Mrs Hayward as she hints that Keith's father will punish Keith if he did not obey her. Frayn presents Stephen who also notices the difference in Mrs Hayward's behaviour when he states that-'She's changed in some subtle way. She's become a person with secrets after all.' This indicates that Stephen is starting to grow up and see the harsh complexity of the reality of life. It also implies that everyone has something to hide and that no one can be perfect, innocent and pure not even Mrs Hayward. Furthermore, Mrs Hayward is presented as being manipulative and cruel when she warns Stephen by saying softly-'I would hate to stop you playing together.' This subtle threat is a form of bullying and the vindictive and intentional way that it is delivered strengthens the fact that Mrs Hayward is very willing to manipulate Stephen in order to maintain her dream of being together with Uncle Peter. Frayn shows another example of cruel manipulation by Mrs Hayward when she visits Stephen by bringing a plate that is 'decorated with roses' with 'two chocolate biscuits' on it. ...read more.


Frayn unmistakably portrays Mrs Hayward' guilt when 'her pale dress is streaked with green slime and her white sandals squelch muddily at every step.' These are visible clues of the crime that she has committed. The use of sibilance by Frayn is significant as it emphasises her guilt and shame. Slime is a motif employed by Frayn, which is a physical representation of her secret and her journey through the tunnels. It is something distasteful, immoral and unpleasant and this is reflected in the language used by Frayn when Mrs Hayward is frantically 'brushing at her hair' and 'wiping her hands against each other.' This suggests that she is trying to wipe away her guilt as she endeavours to free herself from this terrible secret that will ultimately destroy her. In conclusion, through the use of sophisticated language and the numerous literary techniques employed in this novel, Frayn has constructed a vivid portrayal of Mrs Hayward. We are presented with a calm and composed woman at the start and this is dramatically and beautifully contrasted with the emotionally distraught and serious side to her character that is revealed later on in the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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