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How Michael Frayn Presents the Relationship between Keiths Parents.

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How Michael Frayn Presents the Relationship between Keith?s Parents Final Draft Mr. and Mrs. Hayward seem to have the perfect family life. They are the most upper class family on the street, with their polished house, own maid and ideal child with a better education than other children. Mrs. Hayward is as calm and relaxed as can be, always seen with her feet up, reading a book, strolling to the shops or visiting her sister?s house for a harmless chat. Even her appearance is described as faultless with imagery such as ?perfectly plucked eyebrows?. Mr. Hayward is portrayed as the stereotypical ideal husband who whistles and tends to the immaculate garden (focusing a lot on the roses) but also has a strong side having previously served in the war, making him capable of protecting his family, as any father figure would be expected to do. His appearance too is presented as flawless - he is said to have ?white overalls as clean as the paintwork?. Overall, Frayn makes it clear the Haywards are the most enviable family on the street, ESPECIALLY to Stephen Wheatley. ...read more.


His father is a dominant character, always bossing Keith around. For example, Keith is often told to ?pipeclay his cricket boots?. Even the words Frayn uses to show Mr. Hayward?s control are significant - they are often harsh and cold, for example, ?ordered? and ?imposed?. On the contrary, Mrs. Hayward is less uptight and is depicted as more relaxed, always walking calmly to her sister?s house and serenely reading a book with her feet up. Mr. Hayward seems more of an outdoors, active person whereas Mrs. Hayward is a slower, indoors person, who has a nap every afternoon. This not only shows their differences, but implies that the couple hardly ever speak or spend time together. Furthermore, Mr. Hayward shows his emotionless, brutal side when he canes Keith for naughtiness, and calls him ?old bean? with a sadistic ?thin smile? on his face. His violence is also illustrated in the story of how he killed five Germans with one bayonet and the fact he keeps this bayonet on his belt constantly and has a gun at the side of his bed, just in case any invade. ...read more.


When Keith attacks Stephen with the bayonet, he is passing on the cruelty he sees and suffers at home. Scarves in this novel are very symbolic. Uncle Peter and Keith?s mother both have a scarf (or cravat) throughout the book and for a short time Stephen has a bandage around his neck. Whenever someone is in possession of one, they are in pain both physically ? Uncle Peter is severely ill, Mrs. Hayward is being abused and Stephen was attacked by Keith ? and emotionally - from being deeply involved with the secret of the story. When Uncle Peter dies he passes the burden of the scarf onto Stephen, and when Stephen disposes of it, it is the end of his part in the story. However, Mrs. Hayward wears scarves throughout the whole novel and long after the incident, perhaps indicating she is still grieving for Uncle Peter, but more importantly, Mr. Hayward still abuses her. In conclusion, Frayn presents Keith?s parents' relationship as one that is not as ?rosy? as it seems. He very cleverly shows the violence of the relationship with a very discreet but effective technique; not directly, but reflected in body language and of course, Keith himself. 1,100 WordsAlice Morris ...read more.

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