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"Essay on 'The Magic Flute by Alan Spence"
Essay on 'The Magic Flute by Alan Spence
"The Magic Flute" by Alan Spence is set during the 1960's and 70's in Glasgow. The novel follows the lives of four boys Eddie, Brian, George and Tam. Each character has a different personality, which the author brings to life throughout the novel.

The plot chronicles the various ups and downs of the boys from their early teens into adulthood. The novel is written in the third person narrative with the author adopting an omniscient role. Spence adopts this narrative voice to enable him to be an all seeing, all knowing outsider looking in. This helps add to the realism of his main characters and how they cope with the main themes of sectarianism, bigotry, violence, friendship and poverty.

I intend to examine the similarities and differences between the main characters and the techniques used by Spence to create them, which helps make the story so believable. I will focus on how the author cleverly employs dialect, imagery and characterization.

Alan Spence's ability to give his characters a unique identity is clearly evident in the novel. The contrast between classes of people begins to become obvious as you work your way through the novel. Tam meets new people, from more affluent areas of Glasgow and sees a very different view of life:

"Tam had never been in a house with a phone"

This is just one measure of poverty Spence uses to emphasise this feature. None of the boys had experienced the trappings of material wealth. But for George this created a desire to escape from poverty and encouraged him to look at life with a different perspective and go on and find a respectable, well paid job. Not just to dream about it, but to consider life in detail and to discover its potential for him. George works hard towards an apprenticeship, with more...

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