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Explore the way Frayn Presents the Children(TM)s world in Spies.

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Explore the way Frayn Presents the Children's world in Spies. Throughout the novel Frayn presents many aspects of the children's world. Techniques such as imagery, structure and language portray to the reader a tactile, emotional and natural view of childhood and it's many negatives. This theme is major in the book and the reader is first introduced to it with the quote "for a moment I am a child again and everything's before me- all the frightening, half understood promise of life." This sets the scene for Stephen's transition in the novel and also shows the reader that much of the book is split into two colliding worlds- the adult's and the children's. One of the biggest aspects of "spies" as a novel is the relationship between Stephen and Keith. The unusual pairing highlights the major theme of social division through the eyes of children. Stephen clearly recognises that social hierarchy is equally as important to children as it is to adults as Frayn writes "we are socially colour coded for ease of reference". ...read more.


Firstly Stephen seems to be the most bullied character in the novel, in the early stages the reader is shown a boy who is merely ordered about for example "I humbly wait for Keith to announce what we're to think and what we're to do." which shows how Stephen is intimidated so much by his "friend" that he dares not think anything against him. Part way through the novel Frayn also shows how Stephen is treated in school where two boys "perform their lunchtime routine of seizing my ears and rocking my head back and forth as they chant "Weeny weedy Wheatly"". Of course the effect of this is that the reader builds up a huge empathy for Stephen. The culmination of Stephen's bullying in the novel is clearly when Keith cuts him with the bayonet; "I can't take my eyes away from that smile six inches in front of my face" shows the horrifying image of Keith coming towards Stephen, enjoying the fact that he is about to hurt him. ...read more.


Firstly Stephen seems to develop one on Mrs Hayward, this is primarily shown through the use of imagery to show the reader Stephen's boyish embarrassment as times when he is close to Mrs Hayward for example his constant reference to her bosom: "that part of a lady as I known for at least a year now, is her bosom, and un-thinkable enough as a privet" and again "my face is buried in the soft confusion of bosoms" later in the novel. Both of these reinforce the fact that Stephen is trying to avoid looking at Keith's mother. The second crush is Barbara Berrill and to show this Frayn uses extremely tactile imagery for example "I can feel the bobbliness of the leather and the shininess of the popper against my skin, and the wetness on the edge of the flap where she was catching it against her lip." this shows how alert Stephen becomes around her and emphasises the nervous way in which children act around the opposite sex. Another aspect of Frayn's portrayal of the child's world is how he ties it in with adult in the book, especially with the vulnerable women characters of Auntie Dee and Mrs Hayward. ...read more.

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  1. How Effectively Does Frayn Use Barbara Berrill in 'Spies'?

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  2. Examine the presentation of the relationship between Keith and Stephen in Spies

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  1. Analyse the ways in which Frayn presents the relationship between Stephen and Keith in ...

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  2. How does Frayn present young Stephen in the first three chapters of "Spies"? How ...

    Whenever Stephen talks about him, it is generally something he said, or something he owns, or something he does. Throughout the book we learn very little about Keith as a person, especially from Stephen, and I believe that Frayn engineered this intentionally to show the reader that the relationship is really quite false and not really based on anything.

  1. Spies - Chapter 5. Using the chapter as a starting point explore how Frayn ...

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  2. Describe How Frayn Presents Women In Spies

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