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English Literature

Themes

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A theme is an idea that runs through a text. A text may have one theme or many. Understanding the themes makes the text more than just a text - it becomes something more significant, because we're encouraged to work out what lies beneath its surface.

Social commentary/realism

The novel is a window into working class life. Paddy’s family copes on very little money. At the beginning of the novel Sinbad loses his shoe. This is punished severely by his mother, as the family cannot afford replacements easily.

Liam and Aidan’s house is falling apart because their father cannot afford to replace everyday items. Paddy’s clothes are often hand-me-downs and when he grows too big for his trousers, he is worried that his dad will just tell him to make do.

When Paddy is sent to the shops for ice cream, he has to use credit and "…was to tell Mister Fitz to put it on ma’s list". The boys play football with a partly burst ball.

The conversations feel natural, like real people talking. The use of dashes to show dialogue, instead of speech punctuation, adds to this.

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