The Portrayal of Mr. Hayward in Spies by Michael Frayn

January 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Michael Frayn wrote the novel ‘Spies’ to present a partly-autobiographical novel in 2002. Frayn grew up in Ewell, Surrey, during World War 2. He had a precious and happy early childhood until his mother died when Frayn was 12 years old. Frayn got to change form an exclusive private school to a public school due to financial issues. Frayn portrays the character Stephen in ‘Spies’ who transforming from a child to an adolescent. Stephen and his best friend, Keith were both in a curious process. We can know that they wanted to find out whether Keith’s mother was a German spy or not. Frayn commented on the sense of control that Mr. Hayward, Keith’s father always needs to have, which might link to the idea that in 1940’s Britain some men felt emasculated by their lack of involvement in World War 2. Mr. Hayward is incapacity to go to war which may mean he feels that he needs to declare even more control over his family to overcompensate for this.

In the novel ‘Spies’, Michael Frayn presents the disciplinarian aspect of Mr. Hayward with his interactions towards Keith which we can know from the quotation: ‘wash that stuff off your hands, dry them properly.’ It implies Mr. Hayward was ordering Keith to wash the hand and show him as a disciplinarian, Mr. Hayward wants Keith did everything well and in order. The noun ‘stuff’ refers to the green slime on Keith’s hand which he gets on when he followed Mrs. Hayward to the tunnel. The adverb in the quotation ‘properly’ conveys satisfactorily, means that Keith has to ensure he wash his hand perfectly clean due to the disciplinary expectations of his dad.

Furthermore, in the imagery quotation ‘selection of canes’ shows that Mr. Hayward is a disciplinarian. The phrase ‘canes’ implies that a stick for beating Keith if he didn’t return the thermos to Mr. Hayward. The word ‘selection’ implies there is not only one cane that Keith got beaten before, Keith may be beaten before by umbrella or sticks. Also, the quotation ‘tell them no thank you so much, I’m not such a fool’ portrays Mr. Hayward was lecturing Keith about if someone asks him play some stupid game he must reject because it will make Keith looks idiotic and ludicrous and it may affect Mr. Hayward’s reputation. The word ‘fool’ presents it as a person who behaves in a silly way it may be sarcastic towards Keith. This quote shows that Mr. Hayward was controlling Keith shows him as a disciplinarian.

The novel ‘Spies’ portrays a sense of false geniality on Mr. Hayward towards Keith and Stephen which shows from the quotation: ‘his lips drawn back in the familiar thin, impatient smile’. It exhibits Mr. Hayward was smiling with false kindness towards Keith and Stephen. The word ‘impatient’ portrays someone who is not calm and Mr. Hayward was smiling with impatient shows that he is a person of false geniality. Moreover, the quotation ‘old bean’ presents in dialogue between Mr. Hayward and Keith was a false geniality too. ‘Old bean’ was a friendly form to address on a person but Mr. Hayward express it as an ironical way towards Keith and Stephen. The quotation: ‘there is sorrow and pity in it’ demonstrates Mr. Hayward was disappointing on Keith when he said he dint took the thermos but it isn’t true so he smiles with sorrow and pity. The word ‘sorrow’ shows a feeling of deep distress caused by lost on Mr. Hayward and the word ‘pity’ is a fellow feeling that shows by Mr. Hayward.

Frayn conveys Mr. Hayward with sense of masculinity by: ‘dexterously filling or sawing or planning; or sharpening his great range of chisels’. The quotation shows Mr. Hayward was trying to do some physical work to shows his masculinity. The word ‘sharpening’ is a verb showing an action to make the bayonet become sharp, the reason that Mr. Hayward sharpening the bayonet because he wants to shows his masculinity and enhance himself become a manlier person. The quotation ‘his father’s huge shadow, like an ogre in its cave’ portrays that Mr. Hayward is as arrogant and aggressive as an ogre. The phrase could be an exaggeration ‘huge shadow’ shows that Mr. Hayward is terrifying and dominant even child as naïve as Stephen is capable of seeing the evil in Mr. Hayward. The phrase ‘like an ogre in its cave’ is a simile, it describes a dreadful ogre as Mr. Hayward Mr. Hayward’s authoritarian is made clear by Frayn through use of dialogue. Authoritarian is someone who takes charge of which is Mr. Hayward, he expects Keith obey his rules. It shows from the quotation ‘basket on the bench, old chap.’ Mr. Hayward is enforcing Keith to bring the basket to him. Frayn uses the technique imperative to further emphasizes his authority. Mr. Hayward said to his son ‘thermos’ shows that it’s a short and clear voice that Mr. Hayward wants to convey it. A short and clear voice contains authority inside e.g. how surgeon orders the soldier with a short command. This quotation also expresses how Mr. Hayward desperate to be in a War which can give order to those soldier, so he act those authority toward his son.

In conclusion, Mr. Hayward is presented as aggressive and impatient person who only try to manifest his masculinity and don’t care about others feeling since he was inability to go to World War 2. Frayn implies the character Mr. Hayward was a disciplinarian, false geniality, masculinity, authoritarian and intimidating person. All those sort of Mr. Hayward was impacted by the inability to go to World War 2 so he needs to declare more control on his family to overcompensate all his defect by lack of involvement in the war.

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