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Examine the portrayal of Hopelessness and Isolation in 'The Wasp Factory' and 'Saved'.

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Introduction

Examine the portrayal of Hopelessness and Isolation in 'The Wasp Factory' and 'Saved'. 'Saved' was written by Edward Bond in the late 1960's. 'The Wasp Factory' was written by Iain Banks in 1984. Although the two texts were written over twenty years apart, isolation is still an integral part of both texts. Through phonetic representation we can see that 'Saved' is set in South London, and 'The Wasp Factory' is set in a remote part of Scotland; the two are culturally polar through location. Although the two texts have their differences, all of the main characters are isolated from society and its normalities. This isolation has a profound effect on the characters. It can be seen that in both 'Saved' and 'The Wasp Factory' that the protagonists do not exist in society's eyes. In 'The Wasp Factory' Frank, the main character, hides from Diggs, who is the representation of society in the book, "... in case of Diggs did any asking around and discovered I didn't exist officially." (page 72) Frank's non-existance makes his life hopeless, because he can never have aspirations outside of the island. In 'Saved', all of the characters are non-existant in society's eyes; they are isolated by society. ...read more.

Middle

He is known to a few people; these few people that are aware he exists, he is either related to, or are disabled, or they are people that have been lied to, and believe Frank's cover story. In both texts, the victims are utterly innocent. We can interpret this as the authors using the victims to represent hope in the texts. Therefore, when the protagonists kill the children, they are killing symbols of hope; this shows how hopeless their situations are. When Frank kills his little brother, Paul, we see Frank killing a symbol of innocence. Banks has described Paul so he is the epitome of innocence. Banks describes Paul as having, "... a podgy hand." This physical description shows how young, and undefined, the child is. When Paul says, "B is for bell," we see a total emphasis on Paul's innocence. The way Banks builds up an image of innocence, and pity, for Paul, makes the murder that Frank commits all the more tragic. "...I found an opportunity to get rid of Paul." (page 67) Arguably, both texts have a deeper, political, meaning. In 'Saved' we can argue that Bond is writing to protests against the Vietnam conflict, and the injustices that were taking place. ...read more.

Conclusion

(page 184) This poignant quote from Frank relates to his past belief in predestination, when he believed that his Wasp Factory showed him things that would happen. The quote shows that Frank now knows that his journey in life is about to begin. It can be also be argued, that Len is the symbol of hope in 'Saved'. Towards the end of the play, Len has integrated with the rest of the family, and is living with them. The coexistence is not one that is filled with happiness, but this is a major step for Len's character, as he has found acceptance. The themes of isolation and hopelessness have been highlighted in this essay, and the link between isolation as a cause of hopelessness has been developed. There is so much hopelessness amongst the characters in both of the texts, but, hope can be seen symbolically in both of the texts, in the form of Len and Frank. We can interpret these symbols of hope in a book teeming with hopelessness, as the authors trying to convey a message to the audience. Arguably, this message from the authors could be the fact that they are trying to say that things are changeable; as long as people try to change their situation and as long as society takes responsibility for the vulnerable. 2090 Words Approx. Stuart Preece ...read more.

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