Explore the presentations of Keith’s mother. How important is she to the novel as a whole? (From chapters 1-9)
Throughout ‘Spies’ Mrs Hayward’s character changes as we move further into the main plot of the novel.
Frayn presents Mrs Hayward at the beginning of the novel, as very calm and composed though towards chapters 8 and 9 when something sinister in the novel emerges she starts to appear scared, panicky and desperate.
Chapter 2 is the first time the readers are introduced to Mrs Hayward. The first image which the reader would probably think of her was a ‘snob’ or very formal.
“She didn’t speak to him personally, but she’d sometimes address him and Keith collectively, as ‘you two’ or ‘chaps’.”
This quotation shows Mrs Hayward is distant from the boys and she feels she is too superior to speak to Stephen personally. Mrs Hayward probably does not want to admit Stephen is at her house but she tolerates him as he occupies Keith. She uses the word ‘chaps’ to refer to Stephen and Keith instead of boys. This is referring to Stephen and Keith as young adults and the vocabulary is very middle class which again emphasises her superiority.
Mrs Hayward also appeared in control, rested and calm whenever Stephen visited in the early stages of the novel.
On page 15, “she spoke softly and smilingly, with a kind of calm amusement at the world…..”
This illustrates her calmness and with the use of repeating the‘s’ sound as it is alliterative and creates a sense of smoothness. The effect on the audience of repeating ‘s’ creates images of a calm sea and this appeals to the readers senses therefore helps to create a more vivid image.