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How does Frayn present Stephen in the first four chapters of Spies?

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Introduction

Unit 1 the Modern Novel: Michael Frayn, Spies How does Frayn present Stephen in the first four chapters of Spies? Reading the four chapters, you can clearly understand how Michael Frayn is presenting both adult and child Stephen. In chapter one, Frayn presents the adult Stephen with an apparent good memory. This is also the same for chapter two, with adult Stephen looking back at his childhood. In a way this can also account for the child Stephen having a vivid imagination. You can also sense Stephen is vulnerable towards Keith, and how Stephen feels about their relationship. How can you tell which Stephen, child or adult, Frayn is trying to present throughout the four chapters? One point that needs to be seen in more depth is Stephen's vivid imagination as a child. Why did he believe Keith's confession about his mother, this shows he responded to it just like any other child would. "I can see all kinds of interesting new possibilities opening up, for hiding and watching in the gloaming, for wearing the moustaches and beards in Keith's disguising kit, for examining things through Keith's microscope." ...read more.

Middle

She seems to really irritate both the boys, "Most girlish and irritating of all, for some reason, is the purse slung around her neck, in which she takes her bus and milk money to school each day. She's wearing it now. Why? Keith and I aren't wearing our school caps or satchels. Why are girls like this?"(p. 80) He doesn't like her but she just seems to get involved no matter what he says to her. When she works out that Keith and Stephen are spying she threatens to tell on them. "If you don't say anything that means you are spying... Right, then, I'm going to tell on you." (pg.80). The boys don't know what to do or say as she is saying that they are spying on people as she is walking down the street. They can't look at each other as they are frozen with shame. They now believe that this was just one of their pretend games, so they decide to come out of hiding and go home. Just as they decide to do so they see Keith's mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

"A longing to be over the woods at the end of the street and away, away. And yet at the same time I have a kind of homesickness for where I am. Is that possible?"(pg.3). He starts to ask a lot of questions about himself. You can see the difference between the adult Stephen and the child Stephen. The child has a very vivid imagination and always likes to play pretend games, whereas adult Stephen has a supposedly good memory but then starts to doubt himself. After looking at all the details through chapters 1 to 4 you can see that Frayn is trying portray Stephen as two different people. A child with a vivid imagination and an adult who is trying to remember his childhood. One is seen as mature and the other immature. This essay includes points about Keith, Stephen's best friend and the innocence of girls, and trying to ignore them. With the change between adult to child all the time Frayn gets across his idea of maturity as you can see it clearer than when you just talk about an adult or a child. Child against adult shows whether the child is very immature or just playing around. Frayn has shown this idea very well. ...read more.

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