About a Boy quotes

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: abc
  • Created on: 18-05-13 12:50


'being men's magazine cool was as close as he had ever come to an achievement' - implies a lack of ambition

'everything came back to the sodding baby' - doesn't see how this is a significant event

'I'm OK as I am' - no desire for self-improvement

he 'wasn't particularly unhappy' - never strives to feel extremes of emotion

"it's big enough for me" - reflects his entire outlook on life (no ambition)

'she was beautiful...[like] Julie Christie' - grounds his notions of beauty in the world of fantasy

'his career as a serial nice guy had begun' - takes on a persona

'absorbed almost to the point of enjoyment'; can barely 'restrain himself from rubbing his hands together'; 'the evening's entertainment' - he fails to recognise the difference between fantasy and reality

1 of 12


"I'm not your father" - avoids responsibility for Marcus

'He used loud angry rock music as a replacement for real feelings' - never feels extremes of emotions

'he suddenly felt a little surge of affection for him' - Will is realising that he likes Marcus

'Will wrestled with his conscience' - recognises the obligation he has towards Marcus but doesn't act on it

'the same clothes...as everyone else' - misguided attempt to help Marcus fit in

'could easily pass for father and son' - contrasts with "I'm not your father"

'wanting Rachel so much still frightened Will' - he is feeling genuine emotions towards people

'a chick whose egg had been cracked open' - he is facing up to reality, contrasts with In Utero

"I just want to hear that he's OK" - admits that he is beginning to care about Marcus

2 of 12


'people quite often thought that Marcus was being funny when he wasn't' - fails to understand mature concepts so is laughed at

"they're better than the ones we had in Cambridge, aren't they?" - feels the need to comfort and protect Fiona

'Snoop Doggy Dogg had a bad attitude to women' - Fiona imposes her views on him so he doesn't fit in

"all you do is make my meals" - isn't given emotional support by Fiona

"she's going nuts" - realises that Fiona has a mental illness but has a limited understanding of it

'dead. A dead duck.' - parataxis highlights how shocked and upset Marcus is

'he'd be imprisoned for a crime he never committed'; 'the scene of the crime' - he can be immature

'this was the scariest thing he'd ever seen' - Marcus can distinguish fantasy from reality

3 of 12


'four was twice as good as two' - Marcus longs for the support of a larger family

'he didn't want his mum to watch anything about death' - again he feels the need to protect his mother

'they were both introverts, she said' - he is told this by his mother, and it effectively resigns him to the same fate as her

(Will) "are you always this...literal-minded?"

'Will had forgotten about the sarcasm thing' - Marcus constantly fails to understand sarcasm

'neither of them were doing alright' - Marcus is struggling with the burden of his mother's depression

"He understands about school and that" - Marcus values the fact that Will can help him fit in

"I've finished with you" - Marcus is inspired by Ellie to rebel

4 of 12


'a triangle, with Ellie at the top' - Marcus recognises how Ellie is the ringleader

'they're adopting me'

'he's my friend' - Marcus enjoy's Will's company

'it felt as though he were changing' - thanks to Will and Ellie, Marcus is beginning to understand popular culture and to fit in more

'now there were loads of people' - Marcus has more people to support him now

'I'm not going while you're like this' - Marcus refuses to leave his mother, because he is worried that she might attempt suicide again

'Ellie was like a guided missile' - naively, Marcus believes that he can control Ellie

'why don't you follow me?' - similarly to how he behaves with his mother, Marcus wants to protect Ellie from the news of Kurt Cobain's death

5 of 12


'he really did have to look after Ellie, and he liked the feeling that brought with it' - Marcus enjoys being the one to care and protect

"how did someone you had never met understand you?" - Marcus has a mature view of Ellie's 'love' of Kurt Cobain, which contrasts with his own, irrational 'love' of Ellie

'anger'; "Ellie's off the rails. She's nuts."; "you are a useless father" - in Royston Marcus realises that Ellie is out of control, and accepts that there is nothing he can do about it. He also becomes assertive towards his father, insisting that he has done nothing wrong.

"I feel safer than before, because I know more people"; "pyramid" - by the end of the book Marcus has more people to support him, and therefore feels more secure

"I'll be alright" - at last Marcus feels safe and happy

(Fiona) "he just seems so much older" - evidence that Marcus has matured

"I bloody hate Joni Mitchell" - Marcus is beginning to reject the things that will ostracise him from his peers

6 of 12


'you had to live in your own bubble' - Will believes that isolating himself and being individualistic is the best way to live

'loving people...just wasn't worth the risk' - Will is desperate to avoid falling in love and getting hurt

'he was one of life's visitors; he didn't want to be visited' - Will likes to be in control and seeks only fleeting, meaningless relationships. As a result he feels uncomfortable at the obligation he knows he has towards Marcus and Fiona

'he was proud of his ability to stay afloat' - a recurring symbol. To Will, commitment and responsibility seem suffocating

'he had never had any kind of...connection in his life before, but he had it now' - Will acknowledges that there is a connection between him and Marcus

7 of 12


'he was left with an irresistable urge to jump' - Will shies away from commitment and responsibility

'of course he should do something about Fiona' - he recognises the obligation he has towards the Brewers but insinctively refuses to act on it

'his life revolved around Countdown and Home and Away' - Will has no meaningful, long-term relationships and his life consists of little more than watching TV

'it wasn't easy, floating on the surface of everything' - ironic

'he wanted to be with her all the time for the rest of his life' - for once he is seeking commitment towards someone

'he didn't mind having a female friend'- previously Will has only wanted to be friends with those who are of use to him

'he couldn't ever remember feeling so happy' - he is beginning to feel genuine emotions

8 of 12


'his mother started crying before breakfast' - Fiona has depression, which distances her from Marcus

'I don't want to stop writing this, but I can't think of any reason to keep it going' - symbolic of the effect of Fiona's depression

'listening to Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley...was much better for him than listening to Snoop Doggy Dogg'; 'it was more important to read books than to play on the Gameboy' - Fiona doesn't realise that the views she imposes on her son prevent him from fitting in with his peers

"Marcus doesn't need a father"; "Marcus is doing fine" - Fiona seems oblivious to Marcus' problems, perhaps due to a lack of communication

(Marcus) "all you do is make my meals" - she fails to support him emotionally

"Suzie's much more capable than I am" - Fiona doubts her parenting abilities

'the old mum would know he didn't mean that'

9 of 12


(Will) "you haven't got a clue" - Fiona is unaware of the troubles Marcus faces at school

"if you want new clothes, I'll get them" - Fiona begins to realise that Marcus wants to fit in

10 of 12


"there's going to be a row"; "I'm always in trouble"; "I've never done anything wrong" - indicative of her aggressive and belligerent nature

"we're adopting him" - Ellie appears to think of Marcus as some sort of pet

"nothing's good" - Ellie idolises Kurt Cobain and is devastated when he commits suicide

'she put her arm around him' - their relationship transcends to one where she views him as a friend, not a pet

"don't listen to me. You know more than I do" - she later realises that Marcus knows more about suicide than she does

"Yay, Marcus! Cool speech!" - Ellie is encouraging of Marcus when he stands up to his father

11 of 12


  • Fiona breaks up with Roger
  • Will dates Angie and decides to date single mothers in the future
  • Will invents Ned, attends a SPAT meeting and meets Suzie
  • Dead Duck Day - Fiona attempts suicide
  • Will takes Fiona and Marcus out
  • Marcus begins to visit Will regularly, and find an emotional outlet in him
  • Will attempts to change Marcus' appearance, believing that it will help him to fit in
  • Fiona finds out that Marcus regularly visits Will, and that Ned doesn't exist
  • Marcus meets Ellie outside the headteacher's office, before skipping class
  • Marcus and Ellie become friends, with Ellie being extremely protective over him
  • On New Year's Eve, Will meets Rachel and falls in love
  • Clive has an accident and asks Marcus to visit him
  • Ellie accompanies Marcus, but smashes a shop window on the way there
  • At the police station, Marcus tells Clive and Fiona that they have been bad parents
12 of 12


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all About a Boy resources »