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

What do you find noteworthy about the narrative voice in Spies?

Extracts from this document...


Harry Elletson L6 HJC What do you find noteworthy about the narrative voice in Spies? The narrative voice in Spies has many different, stylistic and significant features about it, and changes a lot in the novel. The voice usually uses a lot of descriptive and suspenseful language, which often shapes the events to come. It's form, as I will discuss in the essay, changes from first person to third person quite regularly and finally, the structure of the novel is born out from the use of the narrative voice. There are four main features in which I take great interest that will be the focus point of my essay. These are the use of dual narrative, the use of the unreliable narrator and the continual use of irony. The dual narrative is a device used in which it includes both first person and third person, which of course is the form in which the novel takes. ...read more.


This, in my opinion, is a deliberate method to distant the child and adult Stephen, so the reader can determine both opinions and both accounts of events. This leads me on to the next noteworthy feature. The use of the unreliable narrative is in many ways a benefit and in others, I believe to be deliberately frustrating. The narrator introduces this feature very early on in the novel when he mentions, 'Or half-remembers' and 'it's often hard to remember the exact words'. Here, the narrator is warning the reader of the difficulty of locating memories but also he is structuring the way in which he tells the story. The unreliability appears in Chapter 2, when he mentions, 'or have I got this back to front?' The language here is very conversational and opens the conversation up to the reader with the use of rhetorical questions. Also, we realise how honest the narrator is in the novel, which is a very interesting theme about the narrator as he can contradict ...read more.


Another crucial irony is that of the spying on Keith's mother. On page 41, Stephen says, 'she's pretending to be part of some innocent children's game'. Of course, it is a children's game but in their eyes it is a brave, patriotic, mission and hugely important. The other irony is that it soon turns out to be far more than a 'children's game' and begins to ruin peoples lives and finally ends up in Uncle Peter's death. In conclusion, I have discovered many noteworthy features of the narrative voice and there are many more to be discussed. The dual narrative is highly important in giving us a clear view in whom Stephen really is and a detailed account of his childhood life. The unreliability of the narrator allows us to question the account and also gives the readers a chance to form their own opinion. The use of irony, in my opinion, is the most noteworthy feature of the narrative voice in Spies as it shapes and unravels the mysteries behind Stephen Wheatley. ...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. How Effectively Does Frayn Use Barbara Berrill in 'Spies'?

    I don't think that Barbara's childishness is really one of Frayn's main aims with this however, as although it adds to the humour and lightens the mood, it does not really contribute much to the storyline other than that. Finally, I think another of Frayn's main uses for Barbara is as a kind of connection between the reader and Stephen.


    to spur on Steven's fear; "some one is a few feet" away from me, Steven states, he or she " has come silently up through the fence" . To fragment the situation even more, Frayn uses Steven's senses as a tool to make us, the reader aware of every action the mystery person takes.

  1. How does Frayn present young Stephen in the first three chapters of "Spies"? How ...

    just how much Stephen idolises Keith - he would happily have a frightening father if it meant he was more like Keith. This seems astonishing to us, as even with the negative adjectives used Stephen's father does not seem to be so unappealing.

  2. Analyse how Frayn presents relationships between adults and children in Spies

    but then agrees to do it after seeing the emotional state of Mrs. Hayward. She is talking to him but he putting his 'eyes towards the ground' (pg 177).His shyness prevents him from even looking at the adults and forces himself to look away .Furthermore, Stephens direct exchange with Mr.

  1. Discuss the relationship between Keith and Stephen that is presented in the first Six ...

    Sometimes Stephen would see Keith's fathers disapproving looks in Keith when he went to Auntie-Dees untidy house, but Stephen always believed that their family was perfect and put them on a 'pedestal' so he told himself that 'a properly brought-up was supposed to have in an aunt's house,' this again shows their unshakeable correctness.

  2. "Steerpike and Fuchsia are more than narrative devices. There are means by which Peake ...

    That they both shared an interest in change also helped. Even Steerpike acknowledges her Fuchsia's romantic nature when he says: "Her crimson dress was enough for him to go on. She was romantic. She was a simpleton; a dreaming girl of fifteen years."

  1. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    Doris makes it this way deliberately for the readers to get the clearest view of the old man?s mood, which keeps shifting from the beginning to the very end of the story. It makes us know how his mood has changed from being very happy with his favorite when the

  2. Flannery OConnors A Good Man is Hard to Find is a story about a ...

    collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.? How the grandmother appears to other people is very important.

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