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How does Frayn present social class and it's importance to Stephen?

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´╗┐Focusing on chapters one-six, how does Frayn present social class and its importance to Stephen By Hayley Irwin The theme of social class is pertinent throughout Frayn?s novel, particularly in the way in which it manipulates Stephen and Keith?s relationship. Early on, the readers are presented with the character Keith, who is portrayed to be in a higher class than Stephen due to the colour of their belts; ?We?re socially colour-coded for the ease of reference. Yellow and black are the colours of the right local preparatory school? Green and black are the colours of the wrong school?. Immediately, this gives the reader an insight into how Stephen degrades himself as a result of his social class while demonstrating the common contemporary views that people had. During the world war two era, prejudices between classes were common and as a result of this, many found themselves bound into the social class in which they were born, unable to strive for a higher position in society - reinforced in this case as a result of poorer education. ...read more.


This is reinforced when Stephen says ?he was the officer corps in our two man army?; not only does this convey a sense of isolation to the readers, but it also portrays the effect that the war has had on the boys, causing them to differentiate between social classes through army regiments. The susceptibility of surroundings demonstrated in this quotation reiterates the importance of class to Stephen as it reinforces the idea of Stephens?s self-awareness. In addition to this, the army regiment quotation hints at the idea that Stephen aspires to be like Keith, with as much importance and responsibility as Keith has due to him being higher in society than he is. Yet again, Chapter six displays the pertinent difference between social classes; however, this time between the close where Keith and Stephen live in comparison to the cottages on the way to the ?tramps den?. Upon viewing the state of the cottages, the ?torn curtains? and ?tumbled down shed? become apparent to Stephen, and for the first time, the readers are presented with a new tone in the narration. ...read more.


meaning he only feels inferior to others as a result of his position in society on the close, and not when around those of a lower social class than himself. Stephen is presented to the readers as evoking enjoyment out of the torment, insinuating that he cherishes time when he is not deemed as being in the pit of society, and uses this power he gains to mask his insecurities; this therefore reinforces the importance that social class has to Stephen as it allows himself to feel liberated from the tight hold social class usually has over him. The use of social class in ?Spies? by Michael Frayn is used to expand the characters of both Keith and Stephen, allowing the readers to evoke a wide range of emotions towards them both. In addition to this, it also allows the readers to familiarise themselves with the context of the era, while informing them of the difference between the perceptions of children and adults. Frayn portrays the importance of social class to Stephen through the manipulation it has on his lifestyle, particularly how his behaviour changes around those who have a higher position than himself in society. ...read more.

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