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What do you find interesting about Frayn's portrayal of Stephen? Spies' is a compelling novel that sees the main protagonist-Stephen Wheatley

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What do you find interesting about Frayn's portrayal of Stephen? Spies' is a compelling novel that sees the main protagonist-Stephen Wheatley (Stefan Weitzler) who embarks upon a soul searching journey to self acceptance as he revisits 'Amnesia Avenue.' Frayn has cleverly employed the techniques such as imagery, metaphors, two persona narrative voices and sensory descriptions in order to engage the reader and to provide a vivid and fascinating portrayal of the younger and old Stephen. At the beginning of the text, the old Stephen's memory is awakened by the smell of the privet. Hard physical language is incorporated by Frayn to depict this -'it's something harsh and coarse.' This suggests that the smell is vulgar, unpleasant and repulsive to Stephen. The fact that the smell is a 'sweet reek' implies that it is overpowering and this makes the reader question why, thus the poignant use of oxymoron employed has generated enigma and suspense. The pungenct smell immediately takes Stephen back to his childhood as he is portrayed as being a 'child again and everything's before him'-'all the frightening, half understood promise of life.' ...read more.


Frayn has included Barbara into the novel to the instigate conflict between Keith and Stephen. Ultimately, she is the catalyst of the gradual deterioration and detonation of Stephen and Keith's friendship. Sexual tensions between the Barbara and Stephen is hinted at when Stephen's 'sense of vertigo returns.' This implies the flux of emotions that teenagers often feel at the time of puberty as their burgeoning sexuality blossoms. Frayn portrays Stephen becoming sexually aware of Barbara when he states that -his 'lap's full of the weight and softness of her.' This awareness and curiosity is reinforced by Frayn's depiction of Stephen's frequent comments on Barbara's purse as he closely observes the intimate and feminine details-'the cork tip is moist from her lips, like the flap of her purse.' This subtle sexual innuendo allows Frayn to highlight Stephen's growing sexuality. When Stephen pass the scintillating 'magic fire' with Barbara, Stephen is shown to be on the verge of adulthood as 'it tastes of importance and being grown up.' Moreover, Stephen is presented as becoming mature and responsible as he learns that adulthood is full of terrors and tunnels-he emerges 'from the old dark world of tunnels and terrors and coming to a broad upland where the air is bright and remote blue horizons open all around.' ...read more.


shirt is not too short,' 'his brown leather sandals are neatly buckled' whereas Stephen is depicted as being dishevelled and shabbily dressed. This stresses the point that Keith and Stephen were opposite in character thus it makes the portrayal of Stephen more dramatic and effective. However, Frayn uses the first person as the young Stephen later on in the text. Frayn has incorporated this technique in order to build tension and to establish a close relationship with the reader. Through the detailed dialogue Frayn makes the novel more enticing and interesting for the reader. Furthermore, it allows us to get a deeper and personal insight into Stephen's emotions and thoughts at that time therefore we as the reader can share his experiences and understand his views towards others more clearly. As a result, the shift in the tenses and narrative voices help to convey a captivating portrayal of Stephen. In conclusion, Frayn has adopted various literary techniques ranging from the evocative language used to illustrate the crude and coarse smell of the privet to the sensory descriptions that highlight Stephen's growing sexuality. All in all, Frayn has effectively created a very interesting and elaborate portrayal of Stephen. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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