Slam Essay

959 words - 4 pages

This essay was written to answer the question, explore how Nick Hornby utilizes two or more of the following ideas in Slam. The following techniques have been used to portray his ideas in Slam, characterisation, magical realism and setting. These three points will be explained in the following paragraphs.Through characterisation, Hornby has shown aspects and conflicts in Sam's life that define who he is. An important character that helps develop Sam as a character is Tony Hawk. Tony Hawk is important in Sam's life by offering him a sort of role model or father figure. This was evident at the start of the book when Sam announces, "I talk to Tony Hawk, and Tony Hawk talks back". Tony Hawk is represented as a poster, which Sam talks too, confiding his deepest thoughts and feelings. The replies Sam gets is based on Tony's autobiography. In choosing this coping technique, Hornby shows that Sam lacks any real male adult guidance. This also shows the power of Hornby's imagination for the character Sam; when lacking a strong male role model, he has had to invent one. As Tony being the older adult, he has a more complex perspective on relationships and life, but sometimes his advice doesn't quite fit. When Sam talks about his problems and hears about Tony's personal life he says, "It's no use to me, all that business about Riley. I'm not a world-famous skater. You're not listening to me". Sam begins to realize there are limits to the advice that Tony can give him. In saying this, Tony and Sam's father are alike, they are too wrapped up in their own world and is not always able to give helpful advice to a sixteen year old. Also, the conversations are limited to what is written in the book that Sam gets Tony's answers from. Even the role model Hornby has created for Sam is no substitute for a living adult. However, Hornby cleverly relates this to magical realism, because if Tony's advice falls short, Sam believes Tony is involved in a more direct and magical way.During the moments of magical realism throughout the book, Sam is propelled into the future where he experiences what being a father is like. Hornby places this in sections of the book where Sam is feeling overwhelmed in the situation he is in. These moments help Sam mature and question his own actions. During these moments, Sam is placed in a situation where he must perform as Roof's father when he doesn't have any understanding of what is going on. This is disorienting for him and leaves him frustrated and confused. Sam believes that Tony Hawk is choosing to show him the future, but he doesn't understand why, since these moments begin after Alicia gets pregnant when, as Sam points out, "it was too late for a...

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