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

How significant is the title in Michael Fraynes text, Spies?

Extracts from this document...


How significant is the title in Michael Frayne's text, Spies? The main theme of spying is explored throughout the novel. To explore this theme Frayne has created powerful characters that present the qualities of a true spy. He achieves this using effective narrative and language techniques. Conclusively Frayn has developed a novel full of suspense and mystery. Within spies, Frayn has used rich, nostalgic text to explore its main theme of spying. The title itself represents darkness, secrecy and danger. Frayn has deliberately placed many hidden clues which undoubtably leave us puzzled and ultimately turn us into spies. Moreover, several characters in the text spy on one another or are being spied upon. To add to this the older Stephen himself spies on his younger self. At the beginning of the novel the younger Stephen would often visit his friend Keith. Being boys they would regularly play games associated with mystery and danger, espionage for example. ...read more.


'Cabbalistic moon' is a reference to Judaism. Another implication is the 'staying on Friday nights'. 'Sheeny' is what Stephen used to get called at school by his peers, the word sheeny is a contemptuous term for a Jewish person. Furthermore Stephen and his family were referred to as 'juice' this represent the innocent minds of the children being poisoned by corrupt thoughts, the word juice is ironic as the setting is in WW2. The espionage adventure involves the spying on Keith's mother which is conducted by Stephen and Keith. The boys follow Mrs.'s Hayward around and record her activities in their logbook. The logbook represents the seriousness of the whole adventure; the boys are very keen to help with the war effort. The quotations 'we have to make sacrifices for the war effort' as they 'have to endure hardship for the sake of the duration' support this idea. Ironically misspells secret... 'Keith crosses out BIRDS and writes LOGBOOK SECRIT' this underlines the childhood aspect. ...read more.


Frayn invokes a sense of mystery at the beginning. The narrator describes the privet having a 'sweet and luring reek' this oxymoron represents the doubt that fills the narrators mind at the time. This indicates even the older Stephen is still bewildered by all the unresolved events that took place in the past. 'For a moment I'm a child again' this phrase has a dream-like quality to it which suggest that the place has awoken his senses. This leaves the reader questioning as to why a shrub can trigger such strong emotions. This engages the reader's attention, which leaves us with a sense of mystery and suspense. Keith and Stephen are both very secretive about their adventure; this gives their characters a spy-like quality. When they are in the privet they mention 'no one in the world can see us'. Stephen also has a very courageous character as he follows Keith's mother to the tunnels. The setting, which is at nighttime, adds an element of concern and danger. In addition Frayn describes the scene through the young Stephen himself this makes us feel much more closer to the experience. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors 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 AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. Analyse how Frayn presents relationships between adults and children in Spies

    This is reflected onto Keith who replicates the laws of his father on poor Stephen. Frayn uses this to great effect as it shows the influence father can have on a son and how it can lead children to extreme measures.

  2. What do you find noteworthy about the narrative voice in Spies?

    is says, 'And Stephen Wheatley has become this old man who seems to be me'.

  1. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit can be interpreted as a coming of age ...

    The allegories have an element of ambiguity, again causing the reader to stop and rethink about what is in fact happening. These allegories illustrate Jeanette the character dealing and struggling with problems and emotion. The final chapter begins with a myth whereas others appear in the middle and the end

  2. How does Frayn present young Stephen in the first three chapters of "Spies"? How ...

    As a result, due to Stephen constantly believing himself to be inferior, the reader starts to believe him inferior also, and could begin to look down on him ourselves. Although this could mean that we begin to pity Stephen, I believe that this more ensure that we feel frustrated with

  1. Analyse the ways in which Frayn presents the relationship between Stephen and Keith in ...

    There is heavy repetition of the phrase "It was Keith who...", showing us that in the adult Stephen's memory, it is Keith who initiates everything: all the missions and ideas. For example, Keith is shown to take the lead as in the investigation of his mother's desk.

  2. A close study of style, perspective, tense and privet, including a reader reaction to ...

    Frayn uses the ellipsis to both ends. Firstly, the narrator describes a journey in his mind: "through the bushes above the quarries - out onto the open fairway ...". This represents a journey with the narrator trailing off into imagination and memories.

  1. How Effectively Does Frayn Use Barbara Berrill in 'Spies'?

    the whole story of what was going on and could easily just have stayed in his own childish world of spying and the story could not have worked nearly as well. I think that we as the readers also like the fact that Barbara helps Stephen become more mature and

  2. Use Of Recurring Motifs In "Spies" By Michael Frayn

    One could say that the privet is Frayn's metaphor for his childhood, these oxymoron's used are his way of describing his complicated and confusing childhood. Alternatively, although the smell reveals his dark childhood, the smell is so powerful and "urgent" that Stephen cannot help but leave for London.

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