An Analysis Of Aesthetic Devices In 'About A Boy'

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Analysis of Aesthetic devices in 'About a Boy'

'About a Boy', written in 1998 by Nick Hornby explores the themes of mental health, 1990's culture and family through the friendship of two characters; Will, a thirty-six-year-old bachelor and Marcus, A 12-year-old outcast. In 'About a Boy', the author has used a range of aesthetic devices that shape character representation. An Aesthetic device is an element that authors intentionally use to create intellectual/emotional responses in their novel. Hornby has used the aesthetic devices of irony, imagery and stream of consciousness effectively to shape character representation and position the reader to view characters in particular ways.

Irony is a technique that is used, through a character or plot development, to convey an intention or attitude opposite to what is literally stated. In essence, irony is humour based on opposites and contradiction. It is supposed to make the reader laugh due to the mismatched characteristics of specific situations. In 'About a Boy' Hornby explores significant issues through the use of this type of humour. Techniques such as Ironic and ridiculous situations, coupled with vivid imagery encourage the audience to laugh while simultaneously being challenged to think about serious issues such as mental health, bullying and relationships. This, in turn, elicits an emotional response within the reader. An example of irony in ‘About a Boy’ is the Dead duck scene, where the humour of Marcus killing a
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