In this essay, I will be talking about how Marcus is represented in Chapters one to twenty. Throughout the novel, we see many changes within Marcus and we really see how vulnerable he is. We also know that his mum has a huge influence on him and that he is severely bullied because of this. I will pick a few key chapters from the novel and explore Marcus’s representation in each, referring closely to how he changes as the novel progresses. In the first few chapters, we are introduced to Marcus’s relationship with his mother and we see how much of an influence she has on him.
We already know that he is very inquisitive, astute and sharp as he asks his mother lots of questions and is also very direct ‘it looks to me like you’ve split up’. We know that he doesn’t understand humour and sarcasm and that he is very naive ‘he was worried the trouble in the soaps would remind his mum of the trouble she had in her own life’. However, this also shows us how kind and caring he is. In Chapter three, we really begin to see how vulnerable Marcus is because of this peculiar mother and son relationship.
All these things we are told in Chapter 1 automatically make the reader slightly anxious as to how he copes in school as he is clearly not a normal boy and in Chapter 3 we see why we should of been worried.
I think that Marcus is very socially awkward and ‘weird’. ‘He just wasn’t right for schools’ shows us how uncomfortable he is with himself and with new situations. He is automatically isolating himself by assuming that he is not going to get on well in his new school, but of course, as we find out, he is right. When in school, Marcus isolates himself and tries to blend in as much as possible ‘he was safe enough there’ shows that he tries to stay away from others and find his own space which clearly shows us that he is scared of what other people could do to him and that he doesn’t like his situation there.
No wonder he can’t fit in though as ‘he thought darkly’ shows us perhaps that he can’t express his thoughts to others in able to talk to them and also that he thinks in quite a negative way and doesn’t have the ability to think that other people might be different. In this chapter, the reader really does feel quite sorry for Marcus because we see how he doesn’t fit in and how badly picked on he is.
Even the teacher picks on him ‘she had this big forced grin on and she wouldn’t catch his eye on’. This shows us how different he is because even the teacher can’t think of a way to make him fit in and so instead she just humiliates him further in front of the class as if he is not worth anything to her. The repetitiveness on page 13 also further emphasises how different Marcus is ‘wrong trousers, or the wrong haircut, or the wrong shoes’ as everything about him is obviously wrong in the other children’s eyes which makes him vulnerable and isolated.