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By: Robert Swindells.  You will learn about the major themes that are covered in this novel: Survival and Class and Social Structure  To understand.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Robert Swindells.  You will learn about the major themes that are covered in this novel: Survival and Class and Social Structure  To understand."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Robert Swindells

2  You will learn about the major themes that are covered in this novel: Survival and Class and Social Structure  To understand the main events that have led to the conclusion of the novel: You will come to learn of the plot developments between Daily Routine 1-5 You will come across the significance of various important quotes  You will also have to complete the following tasks: Write a letter from the perspective of the Nurse on the situation that has unfolded Test on its significance

3  There are 2 plots running at the same time, that of Shelter’s and Link’s Both characters think that they are victims of misfortune that has befallen upon them Both of them choose a different name to be referred to  The novel deals with the themes of: A) Survival and B) Class and Social Structure  The novel is written in modern prose and is written in first person LinkShelter He is a young man who chose to live on the streets of London He finds himself on the streets of London due to difficulties within his family He criticizes society’s lack of care for the homeless He is a 47 year old man who has recently lost his job at the National Service (Military) He feels that he has been wronged by the government and so he currently has a lot of resentment against them and the homeless His nickname will prove to be ironic to the readers, since he provides anything but shelter to his victims

4  Link, who is the novel’s protagonist introduces himself to the readers as. ‘One of the invisible people.’ (p.1)  Theme: Link discusses the lack of care that society affords to the homeless people This is an issue which will come to dominate the novel  Link tells the readers of the events that left him with little alternative but to make himself homeless 1. The happy family life that he had enjoyed until his teenage years was shattered when, ‘Dad ran off with his receptionist o Although this devastates Link, he manages to cope with the loss of his father o He does not dwell on the reasons for his father’s departure, and does not blame him for the events that follow  E.g. That’s not why I ended up like this 2. His mother has then fallen in love with a man whom he hates called Vince 3. Vince causes Link’s sister, Carole to move out with her boyfriend o This causes Link to be all alone, as his sister has now gone and his mother has changed

5  Link clearly dislikes Vince for the following reasons: 1. He blames him for having ruined his chances of a normal adolescence 2. He wants Link to call him, “dad”  He hates that  Vince is not a father figure, and Link vows that even if ‘he was the last guy on Earth […] I wouldn’t call that fat pillock Dad.’ (p.4) 3. He is offended by comments that he makes about his mother 4. He changes the behaviour of Link’s mother 5. He gets into a fire with his sister, Carole causing her to leave  Link watches his family disintegrate before his own eyes  Before long, the verbal abuse that Link suffers at the hands of his abusive step–father is replaced by physical abuse  Link is locked out of the house, and then receives a ‘slapping […] around the head’ on his return Consequence: Believing that the only option is to leave, Link makes himself homeless

6  Link talks of how uncomfortable his situation is and of the embarrassment of meeting someone who recognises him, whilst you are begging for money  Quote: ‘You’re going to be at risk every minute, day and night,’ Significance: Apart from the obvious physical difficulties, Link mentions the other dangers that are very real to those who live on the streets E.g. 1: There are crazy guys on the street who will knife the homeless E.g. 2: Some will try to enter into the sleeping bag of the homeless

7  The readers come to discover the reasons behind Shelter’s anger and resentment: 1. He has been unfairly discharged from his job at the National Service (Military) for 29 years  Reason: Medical grounds 2. He believes the state is in on a secret mission of clogging the country with: A.Dossers (Homeless) B.Junkies (Inactive and overweight citizens) C.Drunks (Alcoholics) This goes against his mission, of wanting to train fit and well-off citizens  This as a result leads to his resentment 3. He believes that the state does not appreciate his hard work and service and wants to destroy the country  As a result, Shelter has a plan of his own: Foreshadow: “But I can clean up the garbage, can’t I? They can’t stop me doing that, and I will. By golly I will” (Pg. 12) 1.This tells the reader that he may have something evil and unethical planned 2.This also builds a sense of suspense amongst the readers

8  Link begins to feel depressed, as he knows that he is unemployable in his present state  Although Link returns to his sister’s house for Christmas, it is far from the happy place that it should be  His mother and sister put together to buy him a new sleeping bag as a Christmas present  Link feels increasingly alienated from his family: 1. Vince keeps calling him a ‘disgrace,’ ‘a scrounger,’ and a ‘lay about’ who ought to be ‘looking for work.’ 2. Vince refers to him as the ghost of Christmas in front of everyone 3. No one bothers to defends Link when Vince insults him  On returning to the streets, Link is pestered by a ‘stinky old ciderhead.’ To get rid of him, Link gives him twenty pence for him to go away

9  Shelter adopts a cat which he calls Sappho. The cat manages to provide him with: 1. Reassurance 2. Possible protection  Shelter believes that the 2 of them would make good company and should be referred to as, “The Invincibles”  Link travels to London and with the money he has left, he books into a B&B They required: A) A Suit working Man and B) Rent would be negotiable  He is optimistic that the future in London is brighter Quote: “You ‘can invent your own past and call yourself anything you choose,‘  Link imagines that he will be able to find work This is short-lived, as he realizes that he has two weeks to find employment, otherwise he’ll be out on the streets again His landlord turns out to be: A) Rude and B) Unsympathetic

10  Shelter trawls the streets of London in order to go ahead with his plan by picking up ‘recruits.’ He tells them that he ‘runs a hostel on Plender Street.’  Quote: ‘Part of my preparation […] Brilliant touch.’ he boasts Significance: Shelter seems pleased that he has little difficulty in persuading these desperate homeless people to accompany him back to his lodgings  The real danger that Shelter poses is revealed when: 1. He informs the readers that he has killed a dosser  E.g.: ’I slipped up behind him and put him out of his misery.’ 2. He has a lack of remorse for the killing 3. He speaks as if he has done the stranger a favour by putting him out of his misery  E.g.: ‘Cruel? I don’t think so. He’s neither cold nor hungry now,’ he tells us 4. He justifies the murder by claiming ‘there’s one less dosser to clutter up the place.’  This is his ultimate mission

11  Link’s landlord comes to collect the rent 3 days early. As a result, he tells him that: 1. Link cannot afford to pay at the moment 2. He is waiting to by financially assisted by the DSS 3. He’s been looking for work 4. He is quiet and has kept the room tidy  After grabbing Link by the shirt and demanding immediate payment, Link knows that he must move on  Quote: “I’ll have you for this. Sooner or later, one way or another Ill have you.” Significance: Link believes that fate will have its way and take its revenge against the landlord  Realising that things have not worked out as he had planned, Link’s dejection is evident as he contemplates his situation 1. He finds himself, ‘poised at the top of that downward spiral.’ 2. He finds himself with the homeless kids he would have previously given change to


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