English Literature - Spies (Recap)

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  • Created by: Mizgin
  • Created on: 05-05-11 19:36

'Spies' has a lot of themes that are explored throughout the prose. These may be relevant for the exam; we do not know what the unseen text is going to be about, so here are some themes/ideas that Frayn explores in 'Spies'.


Stephen seems to be aware of the social class divisions in his society. The significance of this is highlighted through the constant comparison of himself and his friend Keith. Keith is from a more middle class background and this seems to lower Stephen's self esteem:

Keith = "dominant figure"

Stephen = "unsatisfactory"

Keith's mum "brown eyes sparkling" and dad is "perfect" for Stephen. Yet, he sees his own family as inadequate, "ordinary", he poses "two respectful thumps" on to Keith's door...  He feels he as an embarrassing name, why couldn't it be called something "more like Hayward"? WHY?!

Michael Frayn highlighting the extent of these social class divisions? They have had far reaching effects on to young children too.

There seems to be a resentful tone throughout. For instance, Stephen is aware that Keith spells the word 'PRIVATE' wrong and writes "privet" instead, but he is too shy to say this to him and writes "I don't want to query


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