Essay Question: Assess The Evidence Fot And Against Teh Central Character Of 'strange Objects', Steven Messenger, Having A Psychological Disorder.

889 words - 4 pages

In the novel 'Strange Objects' by Gary Crew, many questions are asked but few are answered. One of the questions raised in the novel concerns the mental state of the central character, Steven Messenger. Steven's behaviour throughout the novel gives reason to believe that he suffers from a severe psychological disorder, most likely schizophrenia or depre3ssion. However, this theory has many 'supernatural-shaped' holes that can only be filled by the belief that Jan Pelgrom has come back and possessed Steven Messenger.Steven shows many symptoms of schizophrenia throughout the novel, including a loss of drive or motivation. In item 6 Messenger, a self-confessed 'neat freak', is somewhat shocked when he realises several days after the biology trip that he has left his sleeping bag out. "With all the goings on it was just stuffed into its drawstring cover. I was annoyed I had forgotten to fix it, and now it was busting out all over my bedroom floor." Although this is only a minor symptom, we must remember that it was one of the first to appear and was during the early stages of the onset of schizophrenia.Schizophrenics also tend to withdraw from activates and situations that require social skills. In item 2 Steven talks about the campfire on the biology trip and how he slipped away unnoticed. He also mentions Nigel Kratzman (Messenger's only apparent friend throughout the novel) and his impassiveness for Kratzman's favourite subject - trucks. Messenger and Kratz are friends, however their relationship is fragile due to the lack of trust. Messenger says, "Kratz was like that - weird - I could never trust him." This shows that Steven doesn't care for the friendship they share. However, this friendship is important for Messenger's state of mind, as Kratz is arguably his only connection with normality.Steven Messenger also appears to suffer from delusions and hallucinations since discovering the ring. The hallucinations involve the ring and an idealised self who speaks cryptically. Messenger has thought up this celestial double and made to him to be a living being. This compliments the curios mentioning of a fictitious mirror used in item 33 by Wouter Loos. Loos used the fabricated mirror to see an unideal self, described as "Open sores thicken the lips. Vile matter seeps from the hollow eyes. This is a strangers face. Should I touch it, flesh falls." This unideal figure seen by Loos is all a figment of his imagination, much like Messenger's ideal double.This connection between the past raises the possibility tat Steven has been possessed by Jan Pelgrom. Many parallels can be drawn in the behaviour patterns of Pelgrom and Messenger. Both are...

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