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A story of an outsider in a various world, Neil is a teenage young boy with difficulties in a society where he is left out. Bothered by psoriasis, his red, flaky skin typically avoided him from doing activities he would have otherwise liked to participate. In this story the author blogs about the divided class systems, the inability to suit society, overcoming fears, and enabling others to understand.
In the story, the author explains Neil as awkward, easily influenced and an outsider.
At the beginning of the story, his mother’s voice is frequently in his head. She tells him what to do, how to do it, and entirely controls him. She is extremely bought, and so is Neil. The fact that Neil’s pyjamas were ironed and nicely folded at the start of the story already informs us the type of individual Neil is. He isn’t comfy living with the Middletons, in their lavish vacation house.
The truth that he is on a scholarship suggests that his household might be economically bothered, so he lives an easy, purchased, life.
At one stage the author explains a gorgeous beach scene, but stops working to put Neil in the image. It shows that there is a beautiful scene, and Neil is an outsider, so he isn’t a part of it. When Michael goes off to play cricket with his good friends, Neil informs the reader how he likewise has a cricket bat but it barely has a mark on it, since it isn’t a common interest that they share.
Once again, the writer is reminding us that Neil is an outsider, separated by the status level in society. He is likewise extremely uneasy, unable to let go of his illness. Simply to avoid water, Neil wants to comprise outrageous lies simply to avoid swimming. Among the excuses he uses is “I have actually got my period.” This reason likewise shows how heavy his mom affects him, since it is an excuse only his mother need to use.
Although Neil’s mother does not actually appear in the story, she plays a big function in shaping Neil’s character. She is really controlling, and is always on Neil’s mind. Everything he says or does he needs to relate back to what his mom would do. At the extremely start of the story the first line she has is telling Neil to be tidy. This shows how purchased and structured their lives are. Already the author has created an image for Neil and his mom, how much she influences him.
When Neil hangs up his “good” jacket in the wardrobe, once again, we hear his mother’s voice in his head how she would think the wardrobe is to fancy and ornate. Once more, it shows their life is very ordinary compared to the higher society. Neil’s mother also says “Now you’ll be at school with the sons of doctors and lawyers.” This sentence proves they are from another society, a lower class and how she can’t completely trust the doctors and lawyers.
This is negatively impacting on Neil’s life because everything she says Neil will refer back to it. Although she does not completely trust the higher society, she hopes the best for her son. But in a way she is not doing Neil any good, always telling him what to do and what not, leaving Neil no chance to gaining any independence skills, unable to make decisions for himself. For instance when Neil was debating whether or not he should wear a tie to breakfast, he had to think about what his mother would say. Common sense tell us that you would not usually wear a tie to breakfast especially on a hot day, but Neil failed to decide what was right without thinking of his mother.
The Middletons also play a part in the shaping the story. They know that Neil does not want to swim, yet they pressure him to, the doctor said, “The forecast is twenty-one degrees” and “Anne innocently agreed with him.” The author has also chosen to include them in the story is because they play the higher society, the upper class where Neil is excluded and an outsiders to.
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