The Young Protagonist And Stefan Narrator And The Older Stephen

1178 Words Nov 13th, 2016 5 Pages
Danial Surti
Throughout the essay, Stephen refers to the young protagonist and Stefan refers to the narrator and the older Stephen. How is memory presented in Spies?

In Spies, Michael Frayn realistically presents memory, by showing it is flawed, prompted by physical triggers, its connection with objects and emotions and that it can be overwritten by imagination.

Frayn presents memory as something that is fallible and cannot always be trusted. From the start of the novel the reader is invited to question the accuracy of Stefan’s memory. Stefan admits to only “half remember[ing]” the events of his childhood, and warning the reader that his memory may be flawed. Similarly, he jokes about turning into “Amnesia Avenue” however, this hides a simple truth, Stefan fears that “this … may be the last chance [he’ll] get” and that he may never be able to unravel the “frightening [and] half-understood” events of his childhood. Furthermore, it also presents the possibility that Stefan may have already started to forget the events. However, these confessions, at the start of the novel, are not enough for the reader to fully mistrust Stefan rather they create a small element of doubt. Yet, as the novel progresses Stefan is established as an unreliable narrator whose memory cannot be trusted. Throughout the novel Stefan questions the accuracy of his own memory, through the use of rhetorical questions, he asks, “Or have I got everything back to front?” and “is memory being overwritten by…
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