Spies - Key Themes

  • Created by: SPratt01
  • Created on: 09-10-18 08:52
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    • Imagination
      • Driving force closely tied to memory
      • Both K + S have active imagination but are active in different ways
        • K makes schemes + explanations
          • Makes him look clever
        • S imagination is vivid
          • He foresees what might be the consequences of actions
            • Often completely terrifying for S
          • Extends to all his senses too
            • He feels the coffin pressing down on him
            • When he imagines about the kisses Auntie Dee may have exchanged wuth a lover, he says they 'lingered like a faint scent in the air'
    • Memory
      • Sense memories are vivid throughout the novel
        • When Stefan has difficulty recalling events, he uses all five senses to prompt his memory
          • At K house he remembers "I tasted the chocolate spread on the thick plank of bread"
        • Stefan's sense memories are based on interior feelings, not just external
          • In the hideout "his knees ache from crouching"
      • Stefan pieces memories together like a jigsaw puzzle
        • They provide clues, he acts like a detective
          • E.g. He remembers that there is apple blossom therefore the events happened in early summer
        • Gives the impression that not everything may be accurate
          • Reconstructed as fragmented memories
      • Stefan struggles to remember what he thought, what he felt and what he understood as a child
        • He can recall action but not his inner emotions or those of others
    • Leadership + Power
      • Mr H is the figure of strong authority
        • Whereas S father seems more laid back
      • K like his father needs to be in control
        • Whereas S, like his father is more laid back and seems to enjoy being led
      • When power is taken from leaders they will use various methods to try + get it back
    • Awakening
      • S goes through adolescent awakening
        • He smokes for the first time and has sexual feelings
        • He acts independently and is rebellious
          • Showing development from child to adult
        • He becomes more independent + grown up than K by the end
          • But his experiences will have a lasting effect on him at the end
    • War and Conflict
      • Background of the war fits the conflict that go on in domestic life in the novel
      • Conflicts
        • Between S and his parents
        • Between K and his father
        • Between Mr and Mrs H
        • Class conflict, especially between S + K
        • S meets conflict in his school life as he gets bullied
        • Between the police visit with Auntie Dee
    • Narrative Uncertainty
      • Narrative comes from an adult looking back at his childhood
        • Unreliable because memory can fade and the details given aren't clear
        • Sometimes young S can't and other times we are left uncertain as to what it all means
      • There is innocence + naivety to S narrative which reflects his youth


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