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Analyis of chapter 2 of the Wasp Factory

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Analysis of "The Wasp Factory" - Chapter Two After the bleakly comical last line of the first chapter, we are introduced to the routines of Frank, and the meticulous detail that he attaches to them. In the opening passage, we are reminded of the fact that he lives on an isolated island, which can be considered as a key gothic theme, that of a removed or mysterious setting for the plot to unravel. A gothic story always seems to employ a setting that has particular obscurity or mystery, one that is removed from society. The ruins of gothic buildings gave rise to multiple linked emotions by representing the inevitable decay and collapse of human creations. ...read more.


We recognise the features of Frank's life which are in accordance with that of a modern society. The quotidian things that he talks about we can (generally) relate to. However it is the contrast between these everyday terms and things like the "sacrifice poles" that creates the typical gothic tool of the uncanny. On the one hand we can relate to some of Frank's views, but on the other we are shocked by the gruesome and graphic nature of his actions. On pages 23-24, Frank describes the "wars" that he enjoying carrying out. Ostensibly, these are simple childlike war games, something we are all familiar with, but Frank takes it a step further, employing real explosives, something that is not so normal. ...read more.


Acts of violence are described in a clinical manner. It is from this that the true horror emerges. Violence is portrayed as cold and menacing, so that the killer is very methodical in his or her ways. Certainly Frank embraces the need to document his every move when he kills a large rabbit, even going as far as to say that he "slit the buck in the anus". The Wasp Factory is very much a Gothic novel. Apart from all the elements included above, it also hold true to that other staple of Gothic Fiction, the idea that the Gothic Novel transcends time. Whether set in the Victorian Era, the 18th Century or the modern day, the themes stay the same. The idea is that while times may change, the fundamental elements of the Gothic are eternal and universal. ...read more.

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