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

Spies - Chapter 5. Using the chapter as a starting point explore how Frayn presents the theme of growing up in the novel.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The following extract comes from chapter 5. Using the passage as a starting point explore how Frayn presents the theme of growing up in the novel. The extract I will be using as a starting point follows just after Stephen has been spying on Mrs Hayward and figures out, due to the slime, where she has been disappearing to with her basket instead of going to the shops. The passage describes the environment on the other side of the tunnel and is presented by Frayn in first person narration from older Stephen recollecting his memories and remembering what it was like from the eyes of younger Stephen. Frayn presents growing up in a variety of ways, techniques and experiences and shows how Stephens childhood was a frightening and confusing time where Stephen experiences his sexual awakening and transition into a young man. Frayn uses a semantic field of fear in the extract to show growing up is a frightening time as there are lots of references of "peril" and repetition of the word "ordeal". ...read more.

Middle

Barbara Berrill plays a significant part in both of these motifs as it is her house which is named "lamorna" and she helps Stephen discover the value of "x". Stephen pays detailed attention to Mrs Hayward's appearance as well as Barbara's and her "big brown eyes" and the recurring motif of "lamorna" is always prompted by them. The "sweet disturbance" that "lamorna" disturbs inside of him represents his feelings aroused by Barbara and Mrs Hayward. However he cannot describe them because he lacks the maturity, experience and vocabulary so this motif is his word for them. Throughout the novel the meaning of "x" changes and somewhat charts Stephens growth and maturity. The first time the motif is used is when Stephen and Keith look in Mrs Hayward's diary and they discover the x's occurring once a month. Stephen believes the meaning of "x" is the secret meetings Mrs Hayward has with a mystery German. However the meaning of "x" is then used in the context of algebra when Stephens dad asks him "what is the value of x, if 7X(=63?". ...read more.

Conclusion

Frayn uses metaphors in this to emphasise just how frightening it is for a young boy an example of this is when they are both in the garage and Mr Hayward "bends over some small piece of metal held in the jaws of a great vice". This implies that Stephen is the small piece of metal trapped in Mr Hayward's jaws and Mr Hayward is terrorizing the basket out of Stephens hands. The breaking of the oath is also a very important scary experience for Stephen as it is the moment when Stephen actually gets physically hurt. Keith uses the bayonet to cut Stephens throat because he showed Barbara their things, Stephen remembers how he felt and how "All I can do is to remain frozen with fear as the pressure of the blade against my windpipe gradually increases." From this evidence the reader can empathise with Stephen and understand how horrifying it must have been to be hurt by someone who was allegedly his best friend. Frayn portrays growing up as a confusing time of life and shows Stephen as na�ve and an unreliable narrator. ...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 Other Authors 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 Other Authors essays

  1. Kite Runner- analysis of first chapter

    The presence of the incident which is kept secret from the audience creates a sense of suspense, which also exemplifies the importance this event has in the life of the narrator.

  2. Spies by Michael Frayn. How does Frayn show Stephen's mental progression from childhood ...

    A reviewer from Waterstones says: "Frayn works an astonishing alchemy that creates a moving meditation on growing up, loyalty and betrayal, time, identity, sexual awakening, suffering and mortality. " This is supported by how friendship with women and adults signifies Stephen's incoming adulthood: "I've tried to preserve her secret, and I've written it all over her."

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

    views from Keith that his mother is a spy, rather than the confusing and strange idea which involves "shameful traffic with bosoms and boyfriends". I think that Frayn's use of Barbara in this way is particularly effective as without her if would be even more difficult for Stephen to grasp

  2. Spies: Theme of Memory

    attempts to piece together these chunks of memory, is because of the 'sweet and luring reek' of the privet that haunts him every year and the badgering feeling of 'something, somewhere [being] left unresolved...waiting to be discovered'. Frayn demonstrates that the narrator is confused about many of his memories by his use of oxymorons.

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

    Despite Stephen's worshipping of the Haywards there is already a rift between his perception and the readers'. He never mentions that Keith's dad is retired and that this is the reason for him always being at home. He seems to admire the fact that Mr Hayward canes Keith and criticises

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

    In any society, friends are social equals, but here with Keith and Stephen, this is clearly not the case. There is, however, a suggestion that the boys seem to be happy with this balance in their relationship, something that probably and inevitably contributes to its longevity.

  1. Discuss the importance and presentation of Mr Hayward in Michael Frayn's Spies

    The struggle appears to be lost when the narration becomes equally disjointed and abrupt: 'I nod again. There's nothing else I can do' 'The basket. We've got there.' Indeed, Stephen does have to hand over the basket, but only after he has forced Mr Hayward onto his terms and says 'Please, in a strange, small urgent, voice'.

  2. With detailed reference to at least 3 symbols explore how Frayn employs symbolism in ...

    Stephen is still very much unaware of the meaning of what x is and so Frayn uses it very well to symbolise the unknown. Another symbol that is frequently mentioned throughout the novel is the privet. It is the place from where Stephen and Keith base their 'investigations'.

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