• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do Baker and Frayn use the war as a platform to explore a wide range of issues

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How do Baker and Frayn use the war as a platform to explore a wide range of issues? 'Spies' by Micheal Frayn and ?The Ghost Road? by Pat Barker both set during the Second World War and First World War respectively use this as platform to introduce us to several key issues. Both novels are portrayed as works of philosophy: the 'novel of ideas'. Concepts relating to these issues are conveyed through Frayn and Barker?s portrayal of the ambiguity of memory, the confusion of illusion and reality, and perception. The backdrop of war is first used as a platform to explore a wide range of issues by both authors to examine the issue of innocence and maturity. Such as in 'Spies' which is presented as a 'coming-of-age' novel: Stephen's conflicting ideas of childhood and the adult world and his own journey into adolescence. Stephen who starts the novel reminiscing about his childhood essentially plots his journey from innocent child into maturity and it is the war that allows him to do so. ...read more.


The young and naïve soldiers are given a fast track into hardening and maturing as they face the horrors of war. The dark and horrifying nature of war allows the experience of loss of innocence and maturing to be experienced in a short time. We see this contrast as the young officers are described as ‘big eyed children, struggling to take in the strangers’ and our avoided by the matured and hardened Manchester’s who cannot deal with them. Then within a few chapters those officers who were so innocence avoid newer officers in much the same way as the Manchester’s did them ‘heads too full of battle to be able to cope with all those clean, innocent, pink faces.’ This contrast between long serving officers and new ones symbolises the difference between adulthood and childhood and innocence and knowledge. ‘The Ghost Road’ depicts the loss of idealism and the rise in reality in the officers who gain experience in war in much the same way Stephen and other children have to stop imaging and playing games and begin to face reality of adult life. ...read more.


The less competent higher class officers (Keith) leading the effective but unadmired lower class soldiers (Stephen). Even more so, war is used to explore class in ?The Ghost Road.? Billy Prior has risen to the officer class from the working class. This way we get to see the perspective of a working class individual seeing how upper class officers mistreat and mismanage the working class soldiers and we see Prior?s disgust at this. ?God, they make me sick.? This clear blunder in the management and leadership in World War One due to the class system deciding positions is used by Barker to show how flawed British culture is and how damaging the upper classes privilege can be exemplified by the deaths caused by upper class leadership sacrificing the lower class soldiers in the First World War. In conclusion both ?The Ghost Road? and ?Spies? use the background of war to present the human condition and the issues all people face whether it be in maturing or in proving themselves. Moreover both novels use the war to examine Britain and it?s culture through the country?s most united time during both World Wars. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Synoptic Paper section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Synoptic Paper essays

  1. Write a comparison in the ways in which warfare is presented in the novel ...

    Osborne in the final moments to the oncoming raid, which leads to his death. The specific action, of the removal, of his ring is a profound moment in Journey's End and used by Sherriff to symbolise the inevitability of death, as Osborne is aware that he is going to die,

  2. Air of pessimism present in Waiting for Godot and The Wasteland

    This can be seen in the way that people believed in magic and consulted a psychic rather than turning to God. However, I believe that this is not entirely true as Eliot mentioned the three Da's in the latter part of the poem where regeneration occurs and the belief of

  1. Compare the representation of the experience of war and attitudes towards it in Stephen ...

    The irregularity of the structure and the uneven pace of the poem create an uneasy read which could make it less pleasant in some readers opinions.

  2. Tim O'Brien's 'The Things They Carried' and Pat Barker's 'Regeneration'. Compare and contrast the ...

    They fight in the war 'to avoid the blush of dishonor,' and they are even willing to die 'so as not to die of embarrassment'. The point is that the soldiers are too frightened of the consequences of not being brave to be brave enough to confess to their cowardice.

  1. The Horrors of World War I are unimaginable Compare and contrast the ways in ...

    "Journey's End" however is set in the danger zone, just behind the frontline. Faint sound and lighting effects would be used to show shelling and grenade attacks, coming through the doorway that leads to the trench outside, reminding the audience of the reality of war.

  2. Compare and Contrast the ways in which Sherriff and Whelan present Stanhopes and Tom ...

    Much like the` white light` Hackford?s character is symbolic of innocence; he has not experienced the reality of war. Hackford?s innocence will not benefit his service as a soldier because the image Hackford has of the war is at variance to the reality of the war.

  1. Compare and contrast the different ways in which Resistance and On The Black Hill ...

    beyond the Malvern Hills.? This clearly highlights the novels? unconventional structure, and the resistance to the pressures of the outside world. Similarly ?Resistance? is an alternative history, but it?s an alternative history from the fringes -?She didn?t drop any bombs, private.

  2. No war is identical to another but having read Tim OBriens On the Rainy ...

    He becomes almost content with what had happened, ?I have faith in myself. Gerry Conlon. Lifer. 30 years sentence and I know how to survive it. No problem.? 12.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work