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Spies. How does Frayn display Stephen and Keiths relationship at the start of the novel?

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Introduction

How does Frayn display Stephen and Keith's relationship at the start of the novel? Through analysis of Michael Frayn's 2002 novel, Spies, Stephen and Keith's relationship plays a large factor within the plot of the novel, this is seen especially at the beginning. Frayn manages to represent this relationship in numerous ways that give different meanings depending upon what the context is. One such representation is adult Stephen's perception of the relationship they had and how Keith acted. This perception can be seen as somewhat spiteful to the audience, which is shown in part 2 with the two paragraphs "And in the middle of it all ... and our ordinary grey shorts." These two paragraphs show amazing sight into the mind of adult Stephen. An example of this is his description of the 'right' and 'wrong' schools. This small rant of his can be seen as 'having a dig', i.e. being satirical, about the school and class system enforced upon him and his childhood friend. ...read more.

Middle

The use of the word fortune in the sentence "... incomprehensible good fortune being Keith's friend." Is extremely significant as it is not just simple luck to be Keith's friend, it was something more as if Keith's friendship were a prize to be won instead of something ordinary. This idea is also portrayed through the statement "I was the Other Ranks - and grateful to be so." The main emphasis in this statement is upon the afterthought " - and grateful to be so." As it reveals to the reader that child Stephen was just purely grateful to be in Keith's presence as he saw Keith as his superior, so Stephen naturally idolised him. Keith often uses the fact that Stephen idolises him to get his way, and in a way to have a servant. Stephen was Keith's inferior in his eyes and thus he treated him as such. This is a great contrast to later on in the book when Stephen becomes more sceptical of Keith and his plans, and also what Keith says about his mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frayn chooses to use the word allowed in the phrase "... Stephen will be allowed to help ..." which suggests that Stephen did not see helping Keith as a chore like a young boy would his own household chores his parents would make him do, but as a reward for doing something good that he should take great pride in doing. Stephen begins to see Keith more as an equal later on, which is demonstrated by "... Keith and I ...". This is a large turning point for Stephen's outlook upon the world as he becomes more cynical and less discriminates to others. The fact that the one person he once idled was now seen as equal to Stephen shows a large step in his maturity and self-esteem. Overall, the relationship between Keith and Stephen is simple yet complicated at the same time and can be read on numerous levels, depending upon how you wish to interpret the language devices used by Michael Frayn. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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