Comparing Protagonists in Choke and Birdsong

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In this essay I will be exploring and contrasting the relationships of two characters. These characters are Stephen Wraysford of Sebastian Faulks' romantic yet graphically violent novel "Birdsong" and Victor Mancini of anarchic social commentator Chuck Palahniuk's "Choke." "Birdsong" darts between the early 1900s and the 1970s, although Stephen does not appear in the latter dates, and his story is accounted by his granddaughter Elizabeth. "Choke" is a contemporary novel, based in America in the late 20th/early 21st century. In both novels, there are strong messages about relationships, and how they can contribute to the development of a person. While both books may share similar messages, there are massive differences. The main point of…show more content…
Like when he begins realising that what he admires about sex is the confidence it requires, which he does through watching a man in a pornographic video as a child, he says "Hero' isn't the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind." He repeats this sentence about different things throughout the novel, as if trying to justify his actions and thoughts. Another key issue in both novels is the idea of loneliness and withdrawal. When Isabelle leaves Stephen upon the discovery of her pregnancy, immediately we see the effect this has on Stephen He does not get upset, but rather just distances himself from everything. Although he can understand to a degree why she left, it destroys eats away at him; "She had returned because she felt she could save her soul. She had gone home because she was frightened of the future and felt sure a natural order could yet be resumed. He had no choice but to continue with what he had begun. When he had drunk the wine he went upstairs and lay on their bed, his boots on the white cover. He could think of nothing. He lay and stared at the night beyond the window. He felt himself grow cold." Stephen's act of putting "his boots on the white cover" is symbolic of the purity and clarity of their love being tainted and dirtied by Isabelle's leaving, and the stain left on his mind and heart by this event. Through the use of the line "she felt she could save her
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