Belinda Webb’s article is highly accurate and well thought out. Her points are viable, logical and clear; they are consistent and her views are indisputable as she does not show any doubt or contradiction. All of this brings you to the unavoidable conclusion that it can only be the truth. When you place this next to the mess that is Isabelle Kerr’s article it is easy to identify who is providing the more astute points. This is because Isabelle is unable to give her points valid backup.
She starts off by saying what she disagrees with by criticising some of the people who oppose her views. She then very creatively uses slang in her writing to introduce her views ‘This kind of talk has got me well vexed’. This shows that unlike other writers she has a vast knowledge of the point she is arguing for and that she has spent time researching and looking at other arguments. She then progresses on to say that slang is not a sign of stupidity but a sign off creativity and innovation. ‘It demonstrates inventiveness and quickness of thought’. This point is then backed up by a reference of the British Library which has an exhibition on evolving English. ‘Types of slang can be seen as distinct dialects’ This is correct as dialects are a variety of language with its own words and grammar which is a very accurate description of most slang. It is only because there is a large society of people who cannot understand and relate to this language that it is exiled and looked down on. People fail to look at the fact that it must take a high level of intelligence and sophistication to develop a dialect that such a large group of people can interact with. Slang is not created by people’s inability to say standard English words, it was created by choice which means that there is a reason each word is created. It is often the case that slang is simply abbreviated words, which, when looking at written communication, is only a logical thing to do because it can be written much faster, saving a lot of time when you plan to send multiple messages. In terms of verbal abbreviations this is just another way of communicating more efficiently and saving time. In most cultures there is clear differences in language that is used for casual conversations and language that is for more formal talk.
On the other hand Isabelle Kerr’s article is contradictory and most of her points are invalid. Throughout the article she criticises the use of slang saying the new words are pointless, however these words are clearly the opposite of pointless as most slang is created purely for convenience. Throughout time slang has always been developed for a purpose even if these were sometimes negative. For example Cockney Rhyming Slang was invented as a completely new dialect so that the thieves of East London could speak in front of the police and anyone eavesdropping without them necessarily being able to understand what they were saying. She constantly attacks the word “twerking” saying that it is “bizarre”, “nonsensical” and “downright pointless”. The word itself is a noun that has been created to label a new form of dance. At some point all well-known forms of dance were given an official name and eventually added into the dictionary. Saying that this word is a noun is enough evidence on its own to counter it being pointless, because if a word is used as the name of something it quite obviously has a use. She later compares it to the word “twere” as it is next to it in the Oxford Dictionary. She says it is an “archaic word reminiscent of an era of great language and literary triumph”, this word itself was originally slang as it is a shortened way of saying “it were”, once again showing her inability to research her points before making them. At the end of her article, she says “Shakespeare will be turning in his grave”. This statement sums up the whole of the article as it makes absolutely no sense. Shakespeare is well-known for bringing many common slang words from the street into the standard English language through the success of his plays. If Shakespeare was alive in this era he would be in complete support of slang and would probably play a major role in making slang words more formally recognized.
To conclude, Belinda Webb has written an article that is all round valid and it conveys a selection of well prepared arguments backed up by solid evidence. This is considerably more than what you can say about Isabelle Kerr’s article which provides none of the above and is in some places painful to read. After reading both of these texts it is almost inevitable that a reader would be in support of slang if they were not already.
How do the studied poets and Shakespeare use literary techniques to show how people respond to forces in the world in which they have no control?
This essay will compare the ways in which the writers of ‘Hamlet’, ‘On My First Sonne’, ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ and ‘A Song in a Storm’ address the ideas of fate and the supernatural, love and death which are all themes that find themselves present in many texts and they are forces which humans have very little control over. Shakespeare along with the studied poets convey these themes in different ways and they use a variety of language devices and techniques which I will explore in this essay.
In the play Hamlet there is a strong presence of fate and Hamlet often holds fate responsible for things that happen to him in life. The supernatural usually becomes a part of the play whenever a clear presence of fate needs to be identified to the viewer. One of the clearest examples of this is the ghost of Hamlet’s late father who appears in the play on multiple occasions to give Hamlet guidance and to tell him about the truth behind his death. In the second on stage appearance of the ghost, Shakespeare personifies fate by saying ‘My fate cries out’ to show Hamlets compelling feeling to follow the ghost and find out what it is that he has to tell him. This shows Hamlet’s belief in fate and how he often ties in the decisions he makes in life to fate, however Shakespeare reinforces this idea by adding in an element of the supernatural. The appearance of the ghost makes Hamlet’s traditional interpretations of life seem much more real and believable. The ghost also appears later in the play where he tries to refocus Hamlet’s sense of duty because he thinks he has become distracted from his goal. Hamlet’s father can be seen as a symbol for fate. In the poem ‘On My First Sonne’ fate and the supernatural are referenced in the line ‘Seven years tho’ wert lent to me’. In this line Ben Jonson suggests that his son was lent to him by some higher force, for example fate. This poem is similar to Hamlet because it shows his willingness to accept and follow fate. Hamlet often complains about his ‘outrageous fortune’ but he doesn’t do much to try to go against it; this is apparent when he decides to follow the will of a ghost that may not even be real. Similarly in the poem by Ben Jonson he has accepted his son’s death but the poem is made up of his mourning and his rage at the turn of events.
Iambic pentameter is a device that is strongly present in Shakespeare as it is the meter that most of the characters follow as they speak. Hamlet, when in the company of others, usually refrained from using this to appear mad to the other characters. However most of the time when Hamlet is by himself or conversing with his friends Hamlet spoke in Iambic Pentameter. This is also present in the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy where Hamlet considers ending his life. Compared to this, the poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ has a weak sense of meter as it slowly deteriorates throughout each stanza. In the first line there is clear iambic pentameter, in the second line there is much less and in the final line there is barely any. Iambic pentameter could be interpreted to represent fate as it possesses the resonating sound of a heart beat. A heart beat is a repetitive pulse that is present in everything that you do and it doesn’t stop or waver until you die. This is very similar to the idea of fate that sits in the backgrounds of our lives controlling the course they take. This would make sense when analysing the presence of meter in the Dylan Thomas’s poem. The poem is telling people to fight against death and not let it control you and conquer you. It is telling people to ‘Rage, Rage against the dying of the light’.In the first line of each stanza the presence of fate is strong because it is following Iambic pentameter. However with each line the people referred to by the poet are breaking away from the shackles of destiny and by the last line they have succeeded in ‘raging’ against death. In Hamlet there is a large contrast because there is an extremely strong meter which shows that Hamlet is more resigned to fate. At the same time Hamlet is considering going against destiny in his own way by ending is own life but this is still far more submissive.
In the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy Hamlet immediately presents us with an interrogative of whether he should live or die, he uses this to show the mental conflict he is going through. This use of rhetorical questions shows his unwillingness to surrender to his fate and it also shows his fragile state of mind as he is questioning himself and not following stable views or beliefs. He goes on to further question himself, ‘To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. Hamlet is using the metaphor of slings and arrows to express his emotions on fate, he is referring to the troubles of life as slings and arrows which implies that he feels that fate is against him and it is almost as if he is saying that it is personal. He further expresses his disregard to life by using the phrase ‘outrageous fortune’ where he is labelling his fate as outrageous. This suggests that he thinks that his fate is unnaturally unfair and it shows how he views his destiny as an enemy. He then provides the alternative of his dilemma and once again uses a metaphor to show his opinion by referring to his turmoil as ‘a sea of troubles’. This perfectly outlines Hamlet’s recurring attitude throughout the whole play where he often feels a high amount of self-pity and believes that everything is against him. To build this Shakespeare uses a variety of metaphors where Hamlet likens hardships to weapons or enemies.
Ben Jonson constructed this poem after the death of his son meaning that he was writing this poem from the heart, conveying his actual feelings about his son’s early death. The poem does seem to follow the patterns of a person’s internal speech ‘O, could I lose all father now! For why Will man lament the state he should envy?’ This gives the poem a much stronger sense of reality because it connects the reader to a real life event and the actual feelings of the poem rather than a fictional event or a historical recollection. Similarly Shakespeare was said to have written Hamlet after the death of his son in 1556. His son died of an unknown illness which gave Shakespeare the emotional inspiration he needed to write Hamlet. This has a huge impact on the play and on the poem because it changes the question from how people respond to forces beyond their control to how the writers react. It is unknown how much of Hamlet was based on personal experience but it is clear that a lot of emotion went into the production of the play and from this we can draw conclusions about Shakespeare’s own beliefs and reactions to outside forces. For example viewing Hamlet’s response to death of those around him we could possibly conclude that Shakespeare himself reacted the same way after the death of his son. It also shows us that the idea of fate or god were strong very present in his life due to the way he users it to explain occurrences. When analysing on my first son the same conclusions about Ben Jonson do not need to be made because it is written directly about what happened to him whereas Hamlet may be inspired by real life but it is actually a fictional story.
In the poem ‘A Song in a Storm’ the poet is trying to persuade the soldiers to go into war and not fear death, ‘The game is more than the player of the game, and the ship is more than the crew!’. This quote is telling people to accept death if it comes and that their life is part of a bigger picture because it is saying that even though a single player may be out of the game they may have made a difference or have been part of the ending outcome or even though a crew member may die at sea the journey would have never taken place if it wasn’t for each individual person. This is a different point of view from any of the other texts because it accepts death but argues that there is a meaning behind it. The other texts that accept fate or death like Hamlet or On My First Sonne choose to accept fate because they simply believe there is nothing you can do to avoid it which is unlike this poem which accepts fate because it believes it is a necessary action for the purpose of a larger cause like a war or a voyage at sea. ‘Be well assured, though in our power, Is nothing left to give, But chance and place to meet the hour, And leave to strive to live.’ This quote suggests that you should give your all to your fate and hope that your death was not in vain and that you were able to contribute to something greater. I feel that this is most similar in tone to ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ even though they are arguing completely different points. I feel that this is because they are both telling you to fight and not give up, however one of them is telling you to fight against death and try to go against your fate as much as possible and the other is telling you to keep on fighting and accept that your death is part of that fight.
Another force beyond control, that is referred to by Shakespeare and the poets, is Love. Love is an emotion that is present in everyone’s lives and it is something that takes place subconsciously. Love is definitely present in Hamlet with the presence of Ophelia. Hamlet shares a very deep bond with Ophelia although this isn’t necessarily obvious until later in the play where Hamlet confesses his true feelings for her at her funeral. Hamlet suffers with his love for Ophelia and this shows all throughout the play where he feels his love for her is unrequited. Due to the belief that he is mad, Ophelia is strongly advised to stay away from him by her brother and father. ‘Alas, then she is drowned’ after Ophelia dies Hamlet starts to reveal his deeper love for her and his sorrow becomes even deeper. At her funeral he arrives and engages in a heated confrontation with Laertes. ‘I lov’d Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers with all their quantity of love could not make up my sum’ In this metaphor Hamlet truly reveals the deep love he has for Ophelia as he says his love for her was greater than the amount that forty thousand brothers would have together. Hamlet’s love for his father is the other main time that Hamlet expresses love. He clearly is deeply wounded by his father’s death and even more by his mother’s quick betrayal of him. ‘For look how cheerfully my mother looks and my father died within’s two hours.’ Hamlet talks to Ophelia about his fickle mother after she questions him about being drunk. In the poem ‘On My First Sonne’ Ben Jonson also expresses the love he has for his son in the quote ‘My sin was too much hope of thee’. Here he talks about how he actually loved his son too much for his own good, connoting that it is out of his control. This is similar to Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia and his Father, where he suffers with their loss and has to deal with the pain of death.
To conclude I feel that there is a theme of conflict that runs through all of these texts and it defines the different ways in which each person reacts to fate. In Hamlet he refers to everything as a fight and he faces the conflict of choosing whether ‘To be or not to be’ or if he should kill his own uncle. In ‘On My First Sonne’ Ben Jonson deals with the conflict of his sons very premature death. ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ deals with fighting death and each person present in the poem struggling with the ‘rage against the dying of the light’. The poem ‘A Song in a Storm talks about embracing death and how it is part of a larger purpose and it reaches out to people who are scared and have internal conflict about the danger of death. The one element present in all of the texts is that they are all in some sort of conflict when it comes to deal;ing with the forces that are beyond their control.
Social Media, the new sensation that has grabbed the attention of young people all over the world, teaches them all of the key values that a young person should adhere to. For instance a key example is how it teaches young people to care about their appearance. In fact there is a sophisticated rating system that is used as peer feedback to the picture you posted, coming in the form of “likes”. These “likes” can be used as an accurate value for the standard of your appearance, really boosting your confidence and allowing you to stand out in a crowd.
An other thing social media teaches is the value of true friendship and once again you will find that there is a complex, advanced system of measuring the amount of true, pure friendships you have, where you demonstrate that you consider them a friend by “following” them and whether they follow you back or not will resolve whether they are really a friend you can trust. This system also develops simple mathematics as young people often find themselves calculating the ratio of their followers to following.
Social Media also has educational perks, that can become apparent whilst someone is using social media, for instance in some cases it can teach them about the ever evolving computer technology and how to use some advance computer software like Photoshop, to enhance their physical appearance beyond natural possibilities. Another educational benefit of social media is the ability it gives young people to work together and collaborate on homework via one student direct messaging the whole class the answers, building teamwork skills and furthering their knowledge in the given subject that the work was originally set in. Even though teaching the young is a huge part of the buzz, the enjoyability of the experience is untarnished, allowing users to have fun whilst subconsciously learning and growing.
From its name you can also gather that social media helps young people to become “social” and come out of their shell in public situations. This is because it allows people to communicate without the pressure of face to face confrontation, so that when a real scenario is put in front of them they will be experienced in the social mechanics of conversation. From this we can clearly see another way in which social media can enhance your life; the improvements social media can make to your natural confidence and public speaking come in handy during dreaded job interviews. Whilst taking ‘selfies’ it is inevitable that you will begin to understand the secrets of body language, also useful for high pressure public situations like interviews.
One common misconception of social media, is the belief that there is a lack of option. This is undoubtedly incorrect as you can post your selfies on a variety of applications like facebook, instagram who is owned by facebook and whatsapp, also owned by facebook and those listed above are just a few of the many choices available to the masses. Everybody has their favourite communication platform but there is a vast variety of options if people decide to explore other fields of life and often one young person may be in possession of multiple social media at once! Not only is there a lot of options to begin with, there are new innovative alternatives being introduced constantly, keeping the media experience fresh and satisfying.
One of the key features of social media that really makes it special, is that it installs all of these listed benefits, from such a young age. However don’t be mistaken it is not limited to the young as it is slowly becoming imprinted in the generations and with the knowledgeable present in the youth, more and more elderly people are being introduced to the craze everyday. It gives people the opportunity to be whoever they want, whatever age they want, whatever appearance they want and most importantly whatever personality they want. With all of the extensive positives how could anybody not love it. Social Media, join the trend.
The wide spread anticipation spiralled around the huge hall. It built up the already clenching tension in your muscles that your pre-stretching didn’t seem to help whatsoever. The only thing that relaxed you even slightly, was the fact that you knew for certain that you were not the only one experiencing the anxiety. The room was still and silent. The silence? No, the silence was not peaceful, it was a nervous silence; one that struck discipline into all of the students, their belts wrapped far too tightly around their Gis. The silence was only broken by the sound of crashing mats, bashing against your eardrums, as they were thrown on the ground and arranged neatly into a large rectangular area. Your anticipation began to become even more intense.
The rows of white belts where disrupted by the occasional black belt inspecting them. Analysing. Evaluating. Intimidating. It was not purely terrifying however. You felt a buzz, a rush. Adrenaline surging through your body as you began to comprehend that your moment was hastily approaching. You breath in and out deeply but the air seems thick. It strikes you that your whole body is tense, you fists are clenched and your legs are tight. Your body relaxes and you begin to except that this is your time, your chance to prove your self. It is at that moment that everything seems to come to a stand still. Your perception rises and you begin to accumulate a sense restlessness. You notice the one drop of sweat making its way down your outer left thigh that would usually slip by unnoticed. Is this why you train in martial arts? Is this the thrill you have been waiting for? You realise you are holding up the queue, the wait is over.
You listen to the first group executing their rolls in perfect synchronisation. They smash against the ground as one causing vibrations to reach across the mats, underneath your knees and along your shins. A breeze brushes past your back and you follow the feeling along the row of kneeling students tracing it back to the door that had been slightly left open. Before you know it you’re standing in the position that has tested your nerve all day. You know your timing is key but your reactions are still slow and your first roll is behind. The split second interval between you and the rest of the group touching the floor seems like a century. From here you know its only a downwards spiral as with each motion you get further and further behind. You scold yourself for that very disappointing start.
Aches, pains and anxiety quickly become overwhelmed by the deep stench of the sweat residing in the man’s armpit that your head is trapped in. The attack on your senses brings you back to reality, enough to make you realize that you have yet to prove yourself. You stand in the middle of the circle with your hair wet from your own exhaustion. You wait decisively for your first attacker. You can already here people from other groups being thrown to the ground and you question why no one has attacked you yet. You let your gaze zoom in on a singular student isolating the two of you from the rest of the group. He knows he has to attack now. The punch glides towards you and you step to the side allowing the cuff of his blood stained gi to brush past your cheek and over your shoulder. You grab his arm and apply the lock perfectly, finishing with a scruffy but surprisingly effective throw.
You and the rest of the students stand in a large semicircle around the edge of the mats. By the look on the sensei’s face you know you have done it. Belts undone, bloody noses, sweaty foreheads and scruffy hair. Mutual respect circulates around the room because you all understand each other in a way that normal conversation could not provoke.
“Ade re” I called as I chucked a bucket of neró on the now cindered hospital. The leitourgía had gone awful and a plan that was meant to be ponirós, ended up with a hospital in flogés. The lack of security allowed the paketo to move out to the next enklimá and still have time to stop the fotiá. The paketo had now made significant progress on the plan and I had finished my main job, all that was left was to deliver the speach to the plithos pagemenos. I strolled up to the accidentally crafted, rubble podium that was conviniently sat in the center of the plaza. Using the tiny mikró by my mouth I spoke “People of Limasol we are your SOTIRES!” Obviously enraged a tall man from the crowd screamed out “Lies!”. Easy pickings I thought. BANG! Diasosi’s sniper crowd control always did the trick as the practically headless man dropped nekrós to the floor. Out of the paketo Diasosi had by far the most violent job but he was a nic-BANG! Another man flew back nekrós and as always Diasosi fired one to many shots. “Ade re BUSTI!” I called up to his chosen camping spot. No reply haha. Leontos and Aaron had now cleaned up the mess, finished their jobs and were now strolling towards me with a proud smirk on their faces. “Did you find the armour chest in the hospital?” “Haha” “Whats so funny, eh!!” “Haha I don’t want to make you jealous Pedros.” Leontos replied as smug as ever. “Ade re.” “Malista” Leon said clutching his cape. He chucked it into the air as dramatically as possible and revealed a suit of mechanical armour underneath.
Throughout the whole novel Simpson uses language devices like personification, metaphor and semantic fields to present the mountain as if it was an evil force fighting against them. He shows the mountain to be merciless, cold and dangerous which makes the book much more gripping as you feel a greater sense of risk when reading it.
Simpson personifies the mountain using the following quote “It was as if the mountains were holding their breath, waiting for another death”. This makes the mountain seem like a person who is intentionally fighting against them as it is saying that the mountain was consiously waiting for them to die. He also refers to the “mountains” as plural which shows how Simpson is trying to make the mountain seem like a larger force than it is and adding to the idea of the mountain being an evil figure.
He also uses metaphors to create an evil aura aroud the mountain when he says “I was in a malevolent place”. In this quote he says that the mountain is “malevolent” which has evil connotations as someone who is malevolent wishes to do bad to others. This changes the mountain from a danger which has risks and can cause harm to an enemy that is making it his task to hurt the climbers. The word is not usually used to describe an inanimate object as it implies a dark conscience.
Simpson then follows with the following metaphor “a tangible hostility enclosed me” which builds on the mountains evilness by saying it is hostile. The word “hostility” has intentional connotations rather than other words which just show danger. He also says that it “enclosed me” which is a word that inplies that the mountain is trying to trap the climbers. And it also uses the word “tangible” which makes the mountain seem like a much more literal threat rather than something imaginary or simply a mental challenge for them to overcome. ————-
The Walking Dead is a series or graphic novels that were later turned into a very successful ongoing TV show. It is based on a zombie apocalypse and relays the journey of a man named Rick Grimes as he tries to survive. Rick is a Police Sheriff with a wife and son at the start of the series. The show is now on its sixth season. It contains strong anti-hero elements due to the toigh decisions that people are forced to make for their survival and the way in which the unforgiving world effects characters mental states.
Each character in the program begins to show certain anti-hero signs at some point however this is probably strongest in the main character Rick. Rick endures some very testing times and this causes his character to develop into a strong survivor who is able to make decisions quickly and in some cases ruthlessly. At the start of the series Rick is strong and cunning but is also very worried about the well being of others. He is strong willed enough to effortlessly dispatch undead threats but at the same time he put himself and his friends at risl to save others. As people die and he looses his loved ones Ricks personality hardens and he looses his strong compassion. Rick becomes an anti-hero and starts to make many more questionable choices. Rick gets labelled as a killer and sone people dislike him for the things he does but in the end he is only doing these things to survive.
The setting plays a large part in developing the anti-hero theme. The setting of a break out zombie virus puts characters on their back foot as they fight to survive. This creates an atmosphere that seems hopeless. The characters are all put into situations that change them that are all caused by the relentless setting. The threat of zombies and in some cases
Joe and Simon meet up with their friend Richard and begin to prepare for their summit of the mountain. They depart for the first length of their journey and the chapter ends with Joe and Simon settling down in a snow-hole for the night.
This poem by Dylan Thomas shows similarities to the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy in Hamlet, however it has a strong difference in tone. In the soliloquy Hamlet is contemplating ending his life whereas in the poem the poet is repetitively telling people to fight against death. This is present in the meter. Iambic pentameter could be likened to a heart beat which could also be interpreted to show the inevitable, as a heartbeat doesn’t stop untill you eventually die. This means it could also symbolise fate that runs in the background of our lives dictating what we do and what happens to us. In Hamlet there is a strong presence of the idea of fate which is clear by the strong Iambic pentameter in the soliloquy. On the other hand the first line of each stanza is in Iambic pentameter but the second line has a weaker meter and then the final line has no iambic pentameter at all. This shows how the people in ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ are fighting against death, because in the first line they are being controlled by fate and being slowly brought to their uneventful death. Then the next line shows that they are starting to fight it as they are slightly changing the meter and thus pushing back against fate. Finally in the last line of each stanza they manage to break free of the shackles of destiny and rage against the obvious path. Hamlet also talks about fighting against fate but in a different way, he says that he wants to break away by ending his life and not going through all of the turmoil of living.
The word ‘outrageous’ is an adjective used to describe something that is unbelievable or surprising. It is next to the word ‘fortune’. This becomes a very interesting combination because it is saying that fate will be out of the ordinary or extravagant. If he had said something like ordinary fortune he would have wanted to have a life that was calm and predictable whereas the phrase outrageous fortune is suggesting that great things could happen but at the same time an equal opportunity for tragic things to happen could arise. Hamlet is implying that he has been treated badly by fate as he is dealing with his unrequited love for Ophelia and his Fathers murder. This phrase is within the line “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” Which Hamlet weighs up against killing himself. He is asking himself whether it is better to live through the pain of the “outrageous fortune” he has been given or to end all of that pain, by ending his live. This is a clear representation of Hamlets mental state through out the whole play because he is dealing with multiple mental dilemmas and internal debates at once.
Another instance in the play where Hamlet talks about fate is in act 1 scene 4. Hamlet says “Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, being nature’s livery or fortune’s star”. In this quote Hamlet is also complaining about the unfairness of fate. In this instance he is saying that one error or slip of luck can overcome all of your previous reputations. He uses the words “Fortune’s star” where he once again addresses fate as something he has no control over. This highlights a sense of immaturity in Hamlet where he doesn’t take any responsibility for his own actions. This is also clear when he complains about his “despised love” for Ophelia. This is nearer to the start of the play where Hamlet isn’t at such a suicidal mental state.
Liar and Spy is an award-winning fiction book written by Rebecca Stead. It was released in 2012 and one the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize soon after. Liar and Spy seemingly targets a young audience however it builds an interesting story and a lot of detail is put into the characters, especially the main character who Rebecca Stead goes into in great depth. This book was recommended to me by a friend who said that it had good character development and I have to say that I was not let down and I found this book a very enjoyable read.
Liar and Spy is about a young boy named Georges who moves home with his mum and dad after is dad looses his job. In their new apartment Georges and his dad discover a message stating the presence of a spy club. Georges investigates the club further and ends up becoming friends with its leader Safer. The book shows Georges interactions in the spy club and shows a sequence of events unfold. Whilst this happens during Georges home life the book also goes into detail about his difficult school life and his tough interactions with school bullies. This book also focuses heavily on the mindset of the main character and his interactions with him self aswell as with other people.
Liar and Spy does not have as strong of an anti-hero theme as I would have hoped however you can still find the anti-hero idea present throughout the book. This book is written in first person from the point of view of Georges which is a common feature. Another feature that is present is his relatively normal character, he appears to be a normal boy however he is heavily discriminated against at school and is reasonably introverted in most of the book. The book also revolves around his thoughts which is where most of the humour and story is generated.
On top of the main character Safer shows strong anti-hero signs. Safer is a very mysterious character who seems beyond his years in intelligence and in experience. From the moment Georges enters the apartment he seems to have his eye on him and he delivers him notes in his own room and so on. This generates a small anti-hero aura around safer. [Spoiler] Safer also believes there is a murderer within there property and it becomes the purpose of the spy club to investigate and gain evidence of him killing anyone.Part of the way he appears anti-hero in this part of the story is through his seemingly wrong actions that he does to find the killer. For example he breaks into the suspects house on multiple occasions to find evidence which Georges identifies as illegal although he doesn’t seem to care. He also tricks Georges into thinking he has been caltured so that he also breaks into the house to save him.
[Big Spoiler] At the end of the story the main twist is revealed and in reality the spy club and the whole investigation were just a game created by Safer. Georges becomes enraged that Safer fooled him into worrying about his life and the lives of the supposed victims. Safer seems confused and he says that it was just a game and that he thought Georges was enjoying himself. It also becomes apparent that Safer is afraid of everything for example he always takes the stairs instead of the elevator and he doesn’t go to school because of the scary situations he will be put in. The puzzle pieces begin to fit together and you feel sorry for Safer as you realise that it was probably very hard to for Safer to mame friends and you understand that his intentions were all good. This is anti-hero characteristics as he completely lies to and manipulates Georges even though he has good intentions.
The setting itself is very ordinary and it doesn’t seem to show any large amount of corruption or dystopia, however the main characters school life is contested with high amounts of bullying and discrimination. In the end he manages to find ways to avoid this and finds a large group he can trust which seems to give him comfort. In the first part of the story where you still believe about the spy club their is corruption present in the apartment, as there is apparently a killer who is wheeling bdies out in suitcases however we discover this not to be true.
Claudius talks to his advisors and updates them on the current situation. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive with Hamlet. The king pressures him to reveal the location of the body but Hamlet continues to resist. He throws a volley of insults at the King and tells him maybe he will be able to find Polonius in hell. He finally reveals the place he hid the body and agrees to leave for England. The king is left by himself and reveals he has ordered England to kill Hamlet.