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

How does Frayn present ideas about growing up in 'Spies'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Frayn present ideas about growing up in Spies? In the novel Spies, the motifs of personal growth, growing up and childhood are all integral to the plotline. It could be said that besides the theme of memory, growing up is the most crucial theme of the novel. As a genre, Spies fits clearly into bildungsroman style, showing the importance of Stephen's personal development with relation to the storyline. Throughout Spies, Stephen shows a great deal of personal growth as a character, from his outlook on life, to the ways he interacts with other characters. Frayn expresses this through a variety of literary techniques. Spies' narrative style is set from two perspectives. Firstly, a reflective third person narrative from Stefan's perspective as an elderly man that is recalling childhood memories. Secondly, a more direct first person narrative which seems to be more the perspective of Stephen as a young child. The contrast in narrative allows for greater flexibility in showing the contrast between the more mature man, and his younger counterpart. In chapter 9 when Mrs Hayward appeals to Stephen for his help, the perspective switches in the middle of the chapter, which is also indicative of the thought process of the character at that point. ...read more.

Middle

Characters such as Barbara Berrill and the Hardiment children provide aspects of comedy as to how they perceive the world, and how they are perceived by Stephen and the other children of the close. Barbara, being slightly older than Stephen, appears to have a more mature view on the world, yet it is shown how it is not necessarily correct, as when she claims 'lots of ladies have boyfriends while everyone's Daddies are away'. This shows a more romantic outlook on the world, biased by girls' magazines and entertainment predominately focused more towards love, relationships, and families, rather than war and machismo. Other instances include credence being given to Elizabeth Hardiment due to the fact that she wears glasses; with no other basis for the claim that she is more knowledgeable or intelligent than any of the other children. Frayn also makes frequent use of symbolism to imply aspects of personal growth or sexual awakening. On a large scale, the tunnel that both Mrs Hayward and Stephen pass through to get to the barns can be said to represent a grander theme of Stephen's transition from safety of childhood, to the more troubling nature of adulthood that Mrs Hayward frequents often. ...read more.

Conclusion

As he begins to understand the meanings of the 'x' marks, he also begins to realise the childish nature of what he originally believed Mrs Hayward's secrets were about. By maturing enough to grasp the more romantic nature of 'x' marks, rather than the sinister, allows him to accept more the idea that Mrs Hayward's secret is of a more feminine and sexual nature than her being a German spy. Therefore, the ideas Frayn presents on the concept of growing up in Spies are largely in the use of symbolism and perspective switch, creating the varying levels of understanding for younger Stephen, and allowing the reader to understand the contrast between the thoughts and perspective of the younger character, versus the more elderly character reflecting. This also reinforces the overall theme of memory in the novel, as to have only one perspective throughout Spies would deny the reader to a whole level of the character's emotions, either the more analytical emotions expressed in reflective speech, or the more abrupt and immediate emotions of the character as he is dealing with the situations he is facing. It is the combination of the two that creates the level of effectiveness that Spies has as a novel. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Reviews of Personal Performances 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 GCSE Reviews of Personal Performances essays

  1. 'A Town Like Alice' (Chapter 1)

    with Some anwers and invited her nicely as she was glad to see them. Mrs Bowen-She and he husband are a friendly unsophisticated couple who help Jean and she had no diffculty telling them a little about Joe Harman. I like this character because she is not a complecated person and is nice to others.

  2. Describe two of the following psychological approaches: the psychodynamic perspective, the cognitive perspective, the ...

    The superego tells us what is right or wrong. This stage consists of our conscience and morals. It makes us feel guilty when we do something we know we shouldn't. Erikson's theory consists of the oral-sensory stage, the muscular-anal stage, locomotor, latency, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood and maturity.

  1. We had to create a tableaux image of the four strong words in the ...

    When I said my thoughts I said it with nerves in my voice and embarrassment saying, 'Why didn't I go to the toilet?!'. The conventions we used throughout this piece of drama were; flash backs, freeze frames, repetition and thought tracking.

  2. Equus, Peter Schaffer

    (She breaks sown in sobs)". Frank, on the other hand, seems to spend little time with Alan, and didn't let him watch TV (Dysart): But surely you don't have a set, do you? I understood Mr Strang doesn't approve." This may also have affected Alan because it prevented him from being like ordinary children - encouraging him to become weird.

  1. Write about how the authors have made you aware of different experiences and feelings ...

    We all know Narrator was only invited because they needed someone else to play the game, not because she wanted her. Paula was really unfriendly with the Narrator. She fancies Jimmy lane and always allowed herself to be caught by him.

  2. We didn't want the audience to see the story from just one point of ...

    The interrogation scene that we did was good because it showed us how the police treated Stefan and got the confession out of him by using blackmail, and pressurising him into things that he knew and they knew were not true.

  1. 'The house of the spirits' : How are the concerns of the novel embodied ...

    It is obvious that the male voice in the story plays important role because even if there is no male voice in the story for a while as when it is third person narration, the writer does mentions something about somebody, which somehow gets related with Esteban Trueba.

  2. Devised Practical Evaluation for 'The Guilt'

    Vicki pledges that she will never really be gone and will always be near. Mother is left alone. Blackout. The Character I played was Vicki's mother who is burdened by insufferable guilt because of not realising her daughter was being bullied which resulted in the daughter taking her own life.

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