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

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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.

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