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By Analysing Chapter 2 consider the presentation of the friendship that exists with Stephen and Keith

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By Analysing Chapter 2 consider the presentation of the friendship that exists with Stephen and Keith In the first chapter of Michael Frayn's novel 'Spies', amongst the limited amount of characters introduced, is Keith. The reader is given no background knowledge about him, only that "Does he ever think about the things that happened that summer?" meaning that Keith is a significant person as it is implied that he shared the narrator's (revealed as Stephen in chapter 2) experience that particular, somewhat haunting summer. However in Chapter 2 a lot more information is given about Keith and details about the depth of friendship between Keith and Stephen begin to emerge. In Chapter 2, one of the first memories Stephen comes to is that of his house. "...in spite of the fact that it's attached to No.3- the only semidetached pair in the Close," indicating that Stephen is somewhat the odd one out, when he says 'only,' and almost uncomfortable about admitting to this. He then goes on to describe his ghastly neighbours who were 'even more shameful' than his house, and how they 'brought us down with them.,' and he then goes on to expresses his distress about being attached to the 'undesirables'. ...read more.


Keith is then bought into the story, and his appearance, like the houses, is the exact opposite of Stephen; 'His shirt, though, not to short, his shorts are not to long.' Also he is described as 'neat' compared to his 'unsatisfactory' friend. However the most significant thing about the boy's appearances is their uniform. The narrator describes how once seeing Keith, he no longer views himself as 'monochrome' or slightly ashamed of his younger self. This is purely down to the fact that he can now see both their belts. The boys each have a different colour belt; Stephen's being green whereas Keith's is yellow. The reader then learns why, as well as some more background information on Stephen and Keith. "We're socially colour coded for ease of reference." Meaning that being 'green' is 'the colours of a wrong school'. This tells the reader that the boys do not go to school together, and Keith goes to a much higher rated school in the society around them. From this alone the reader can gain a better understanding of the social differences between the two boys, the houses also lead to the fact that Keith is a great deal wealthier than Stephen. ...read more.


The conflicting backgrounds of the boys don't seem to affect their relationship in the slightest. To summarise, although the author presents the boys to be of entirely different backgrounds, wealth, and social status, he makes it known to the reader that these are the foundations on which the boy's friendship is built on. Being different to each other only draws them closer together. For instance, Keith calls the shots, but Stephen is still astonished and proud that Keith even wants to be his friend (as he is so ashamed of himself and his family) so doesn't feel resentful in the slightest, 'He was the officer corps in our two man army. I was the Other Ranks- and grateful to be so.' Although Stephen may envy Keith's lifestyle, he certainly doesn't hold any judgement towards him, and is glad that he gets to share an experience of how the other half lives. Despite the various class/economical clashes, the boys are still great friends, and seem to follow suit that opposites do attract. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sophie Tataryn MCM ...read more.

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