Spies - Stephen

Mind Map by tgreen1999.tg, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by tgreen1999.tg over 5 years ago


Mind Map on Spies - Stephen, created by tgreen1999.tg on 03/27/2016.

Resource summary

Spies - Stephen
  1. The central protagonist throughout the novel. Along with his older narrator.
    1. However, his older self and his young are two very dislocated identities
      1. Refers to himself as 'the heir to Stephen's thoughts' - yet he does not seem to be in possesion of them
        1. He refers to himself in the 3rd person and has a vague and unreliable retrospective view on his earlier childhood life
          1. Older Stephen even says he would not recognise himself in photos if it wee not for the name on the back
        2. Stephen is portrayed sympathetically but not sentimentally by his older self
          1. Older Stephen invites us to laugh while at the same time engages with his traumas and inner struggles
            1. He refers to himself as the 'undersized boy with the teapot ears...open-mouthed and credulous'
              1. His physical appearance led to contemporaries teasing him and now even his older self is teasing him
              2. As a boy Stephen is constantly held back, dominated and afraid
                1. 'Im a child again... all the frightening, half-understood promise of life' - this shows how he is afraid, even in the very first paragraph of the novel
                  1. Stephen is checked by Keiths disapproval and by his own fear of looking foolish
                    1. His fear of being teased or bullied hold him back
                      1. Embarrassment: 'which is worse... to be embarrassed or to be killed'
                      2. The degree to which Stephen is in awe of Keith is never in question: 'The ways of the Haywards were no more open to questioning or comprehension than the domestic arrangements of the Holy Family'
                        1. He refers to Mrs Hayward's 'incomprehensible niceness' to him, showing how deep his sense of being unworthy goes.
                          1. The narrator, looking back on life, says that Keith was 'only the first in a whole series of dominant figures in my life whose disciple I became'
                            1. He goes on to say 'his authority was entirely warranted by his intellectual and imaginative superiority' - which is not true as Kieth can't spell - he uses his imagination to concoct unbelievably stories about his families prowess in order to impress Stephen
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