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No Fees ? Essay

  • Submitted by: kbensissi
  • on November 17, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 710 words

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Below is an essay on "No Fees ?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The narrator of Iain Banks's novel, 16-year-old Frank Cauldhame, is looking to explain a mystery. He lives with his taciturn father in an isolated house on the north-east coast of Scotland. His father dissembles and has secrets. He has a study, which is always locked; Frank has never seen inside it. At intervals in the narrative he tries the door, hoping that one day his father will forget to lock it. In the way of a fairy-tale or a gothic yarn, we know that we will enter this mysterious chamber before the novel ends.

The reader has a different need for explanation. The very title of the novel is a puzzle, confirmed by the opening paragraph: "I had been making the rounds of the Sacrifice Poles the day we heard my brother had escaped. I already knew something was going to happen; the Factory told me." We must follow Frank's account of how he fills his long, solitary summer days to work out what this means. We begin to realise that he has constructed a violent mythology, in which animals become sacrificial victims, and that his bloody imaginings are the consequence of his own strange history. He has invented private rituals, imitating religion. In an abandoned bunker he has made an altar whose centrepiece is "Old Saul", the skull of his father's vicious bulldog, put down for biting off Frank's genitals when he was a toddler. It is decorated with candles in which wasps sacrificially sizzle, and furnished with "the souvenirs of my life": photographs of relations, a matchbox containing his brother's first teeth, "a phial with some of my father's hair". It is all about his past and his family.

We are encouraged to believe that there is a logic to Frank's preoccupations. His brother Eric is, he tells us, "crazy" and lucky to have the affection of "somebody sane" - himself. Certainly his obsessions have a quality of pedantic order and rationality. We have reason to think this is copied from his father, who measures everything and sticks labels to household objects,...

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"No Fees ?". Anti Essays. 10 Dec. 2018


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No Fees ?. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/No-Fees-546033.html