"About a Boy" deals with a lot of issues. Discuss."
Nick Hornby's novel "About a Boy" and its adaptation to the screen both exhibit the growth of Will and Marcus through the use of characterization, voice and narrative structure. The focal point of this light hearted story is on shared human relationships, of the desperate needs of children for nurturing relationships in an increasingly, alienating, cynical world, and of the needs for shared relationships in a world dominated by the values of individualism, image and materialism. It centers on the problems of growing up, of children who lose their innocence in dysfunctional families, and of adults who are unable to accept adult responsibilities.
Nick Hornby's novel "About a Boy" has a unique narrative structure and closely related to the structure is the role of the narrators. This is exemplified by the opening paragraph of the novel. (
) "People often thought Marcus was being funny when he wasn't. He didn't understand it. Asking his mum whether she'd split up with Roger was a perfectly sensible question, he thought: they'd had a big row, then they'd gone off into the kitchen to talk quietly, and after a little while they'd come out looking serious, and Roger had come over to him, shaken his hand and wished him luck at his new school, and then he'd gone." This is told from Marcus's point of view. The narrator is omniscient because he knows Marcus's thoughts, but on the other hand, the narrator's knowledge is limited as other people's thoughts and actions are only seen, described and often interpreted through Marcus's eyes. Thus Hornby allows the reader to be compassionate towards Marcus and understand what he is thinking but also provides the reader with an opinion of Marcus as an onlooker.
In contrast, chapter two begins with a magazine questionnaire. "How cool was Will Freeman? This cool: he had slept with a woman he didn't know very well in the last three months (five points).He had spent more...