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Explore some of the ways in which Hornby show a sense of belonging in Fever Pitch.

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Introduction

English Literature Coursework June 2003 Response to Prose (Non-Fiction) Fever Pitch (1992) Nick Hornby Explore some of the ways in which Hornby show a sense of belonging in Fever Pitch. Nick Hornby, born in 1957, is now a recognised novelist. His career began after studying English at Cambridge University, after which he taught there. Following this he worked for the major electronics company Samsung and then went on to freelance journalism before becoming a novelist. His career took off with the success of Fever Pitch and he is still recognised as his most recent novel 'How To Be Good' made the 2001 Booker Prize list. His work as a whole can be put into three with separate themes: Relationships and their trickiness, London life and obsessions. Hornby is noted by critics for his high sense of humour and the earthiness in his writing. Most people consider Hornby's writing as 'middle-brow' and perhaps 'laddish' books. His talent is the way in which he makes the experiences of his characters become gripping and easy to recognise or identify with. Often this is on account of how ordinary they are. Chirazi calls Fever Pitch 'A loving account of the way his home team, Arsenal, has been symbolically linked to every significant event in his life.' Even though Chirazi supports Tottenham, so he is reticent. Nick Hornby was in a variety of careers before he was a novelist. When he went back to writing he decided that he would write about the one thing he knew best 'football'. ...read more.

Middle

Hornby decides that the best way is to adopt an accents where he drops as many aitches as he can, and live far away, where people might believe that my Thames Valley home town had its own tube station and a West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems. Reading played Arsenal in the 4th round cup-tie; it was one of Hornby's most painful of his exposures to come. Hornby describes the Reading as 'my nearest league team, an unhappy geographical accident that I would have done anything to change.' Here Hornby meets a family of Reading supporters asking about Arsenal and making jokes about Charlie George's hair. The father inquired where Hornby lived, but after replying Maidenhead the father pointed out that he should not be supporting Arsenal and should be supporting his local team, causing him to blush. Hornby describes this feeling as 'the most humiliating moment of my teenage years. A complete, elaborate and perfectly imagined world came crashing down around me and fell into chunks at my feet.' Hornby was already gripped with 'Arsenal Fever' and to be told that what Hornby felt, one of the best things that had happened to him in his troubled up bringing, was wrong must have been a terrible thing to have said to you in your adolescence. 'Graduation Day' is the chapter that Hornby realises he is growing up and becoming a man. He is no longer allowed in schoolboys' enclosure at 15 he must move to the North Bank. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hornby states that this liberty takes away what football is all about, turning up in rain or shine, being a football fan! Hornby hopes that everyone is going to watch football at home so it will show how the atmosphere is less without people who are regularly turning up, for the convenience to watch it from your favourite lounge chair! This can be related to belonging in that they would take away all the privileges of being there, removing the whole 'fan' part of true devotion to football. Hornby in 'No Apology Necessary' admits that football had meant too much to him, and had come to represent too many things. This sense of belonging to the crowd as part of the atmosphere, which affects the level of Arsenal's performance has reached a climax, causing Hornby to ask himself how he spent so much money on seeing so many games for so many years. In conclusion Hornby's writing, in ways, just connects with us a bit more than other writers. He can make us feel his emotions as much as feeling our own. Devoted to football as much as we are with other things be it literature or poetry, this sense of belonging is almost second nature to us and Fever Pitch is an amazing example of how our human behaviour actually is. Human nature makes us need to belong to something, be it a club, a team or a society we all feel the need to be part of something. This book is although autobiographical a commentary on growing up and a diary of human behaviour. ...read more.

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