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

How appropriate is the title of Frayn's text Spies? Within Frayn's enigmatic and richly nostalgic text, the theme of spies is undoubtedly significant.

Extracts from this document...


How appropriate is the title of Frayn's text Spies? Within Frayn's enigmatic and richly nostalgic text, the theme of spies is undoubtedly significant. The title has immediate connotations of secrecy, danger and mystery. Frayn has cleverly left a trail of hidden clues throughout the novel, which involves the reader in the story and makes us ultimately become spies. Furthermore, many characters in the text spy on each other and are being spied upon and have distinctive characteristics of a spy. In addition, the older Stephen also spies into his childhood. The simple childlike game of espionage is dramatically contrasted with the harsh reality of secretive meetings and sudden death as our narrator begins to grow up amidst the slow deterioration of the Hayward family. Childhood, innocence, secrecy and repressed violence are all combined in this compelling novel as Frayn powerfully demonstrates that what appears to be happening in front of our eyes often turn out to be something we cannot see at all. Frayn provides the reader with the first clue to Stephen's German origin- 'There are cheap flights to that far-off nearby land.' 'Nearby' shows that England is metaphorically close to him because it is always on his mind and makes him feel restless and nostalgic. ...read more.


The second narrative voice is the old man first narrator reconstructing his memories of his childhood. The use of the third person to describe his childhood self indicates that he feels like a different person and helps to create the impression that he feels alienated from his childhood as it was such a long time ago. The third narrative voice employed by Frayn uses the first person present tense to depict Stephen as a child. The use of first person allows the reader to have a better understanding of Stephen as a child and helps us to gain a closer insight into Stephen's life at that time and it lets us share his feelings and thoughts. As well as that, it also makes it more personal and allows Frayn to include more firsthand observed detail and description, which enriches the story. The setting of this novel is in World War 2. This makes the title 'Spies' very appropriate as spying was considered a very topical issue in those days. Also, spies were a key theme in many books and comics in the 1940s era, therefore it reflects the period of uncertainty as Britain were at war with Germany. The reader becomes spies as we try to figure out if Mrs. ...read more.


Keith on the other hand is very confident in his manners, decisive and plans ahead their projects carefully. He takes the initiative constantly-'it was Keith who'd discovered Trewinnick' 'It was Keith who'd devised the overhead cableway.' This highlights the fact that Keith is adventurous and always in control. His characteristic of being precise is displayed when he informs Stephen exactly what to record in the logbook-'1047 hours milkman arrives.' Another quality of a good spy is being intelligent and very knowledgeable. This is evident in Keith's behaviour as he says to Stephen that his mother is 'a German spy.' Both Stephen and Keith face danger of being found out by Mrs. Hayward when they are in the tunnel. The mood created by Frayn is sinister and dangerous when the boys realize 'someone's coming through the tunnel.' The short and simple statement, 'It's her, I know' by Stephen indicates that he knows that he is close to being discovered. This helps to convey the feeling of fear and danger which spies inevitably experience. In conclusion, the title 'Spies' is very appropriate as the main theme in this book is spying. As well as this, Frayn has created vivid characters that have the qualities of a good spy through his use of language and narrative techniques. Overall, Frayn has been very successful in combining mystery and suspense throughout the book. ?? ?? ?? ?? Susan Yu 1 ...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 Hard Times 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 Hard Times essays

  1. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    As she explains herself, she curtseys, showing us how polite she is. She is very symbolic in the story because she's the only child who hasn't been fed with facts. She also lives with a circus where everybody is used to looking out for each other.

  2. Discuss the theme of education in ‘Hard Times’ and a ‘Kestrel for a Knave’.

    facts alone are wanted in life." The word fact is given a capital letter by Dickens, probably to emphasise its importance to the reader. Dickens opens the book with emphasis on the utilitarian system of education, with Mr. Gradgrind and Mr M'Choakumchild giving absolute importance of these facts.

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