Analysis Of How Mr Hayward Is Presented In The Novel Spies By Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn penned the 2002 meta-fiction ‘Spies’, which is set in the 1940s. The story revolves around World War II. Frayn’s mother’s death led to a decline in his family’s finances. He has also lived upper-class and lower-class lifestyles. In ‘Spies’, a theme is masculinity. Because the book takes place in a war setting, it’s obvious that men who are able and willing to fight were seen as more masculine. Men who don’t want to fight were treated with discrimination. This book’s narration is untrustworthy and inconsistent, as it alternates between a 12-year old Steven and a 70-year-old Stefan who are both confused and uncertain. Frayn uses language, theme and dialog to present Mr Hayward as the main antagonist of her novel.

Frayn’s dialogue shows Mr Hayward as superior. Mr Hayward often uses the phrase “old beans” – a term that is meant to be affectionate or endearing, but he gives it an unnecessarily terrifying and frightening touch. The condescending tone of his sarcastic language such as “old bean” shows dominance. Hayward also shows his superiority by threatening Keith. This contrast in power is another example. Keith is accused “of stealing from other people without their permission” by Hayward. You already know this. Lying if you claim you weren’t there when you were. Yes?” Hayward uses declarative sentences to create a menacing atmosphere. No one is brave enough to confront him or challenge his ridiculous accusations. Mr Hayward uses the verb “stealing” to threaten Keith. Frayn shows the strict control Mr Hayward exercises over Keith through his accusation of Keith’s misconduct. Frayn, through dialogue, portrays the discipline of Mr Hayward by manipulating “Wash your hands properly and dry them off” to Keith. The quote suggests Mr Hayward’s rules for the Hayward household are followed by Keith and Mrs Hayward. This quote also implies that punishments should be enforced for any mistakes. Hayward, by using the imperative, expects that all his demands will be met without hesitation or failure. His orders must be followed so he can maintain his authority in the home. Mr Hayward uses brief sentences. He speaks quickly and doesn’t address the person directly. It is because he lacks respect for other people. He thinks he’s strong and has control so he does no personal recognition of those below him. Hayward would not be able to enforce his rules if Keith and Mary Hayward were no longer there. Mr Hayward wants to appear virulent and oppressing people is the only way he can achieve this. Keith was also required to “ask for his father’s consent to walk on the grass, or to lay railway tracks on the paths.” It shows how Keith is an underling to Mr Hayward. He even needs his permission to do something so insignificant as walk on the grass. It also shows how Mr Hayward is obsessed with control. Everything must be in his hands.

Hayward, the epitome a tyrant who bullies others, imposes on them his own egotistical desires and robs them of their ability to make decisions. He says “Basket” in his straightforward and direct way. He doesn’t address Stephen or ask him politely. This is being impolite. Stephen does not respond to his request for a basket, so he repeats “Basket” again. Mr Hayward uses “old guy” in an affectionate way to get the opposite result. Mr Hayward is shocked to discover that the basket was missing and immediately accuses Keith. Keith didn’t take the bag, but was accused. He told Stephen to put the basket on the table, but Stephen refused. Stephen’s refusal to obey Mr Hayward’s edicts is indicated by his use of the affectionate term “old bean”. This is meant to scare Stephen into giving him the basket. Stephen may have been tricked by Mr Hayward into thinking that he is friendly with him in order for Mr Hayward to get his way. He uses trepidation to get others to comply with his demands, not force. This shows his absolute power.

Stephen and Keith view Mr Hayward as a god or an idol in the movie “Spies”. Stephen is given the impression that Mr Hayward has a perfect family because he describes his activities as “making the perfection even more perfect”. Stephen’s belief that the Haywards have a perfect life may lead to polarities within the novel. Other characters will not share Stephen’s opinion. The phrase “Mr Hayward’s Garage is a Wonderful Private Kingdom” is an exaggeration that implies Mr Hayward has power and is royalty. This suggests that Hayward is a monarch because he owns his kingdom. It also shows that Mr Hayward has wealth because only wealthy people owned land privately at that time. Keith uses the phrase “old beans” from his father and “smiles father’s thin” smile because he admires Mr Hayward. Keith takes control over Stephen at the end of the book because he wants his actions to be like Mr Hayward’s.

In the novel “Spies”, Mr Hayward is an oppressive and villainous character. Mr Hayward was a classic tyrant. He was a pessimistic hero, a discipliner, and an authority figure. He controls others in order to make up for the fact that he did not fight in World War II. He tries to control his environment and people around him in order to feel tough and masculine. Mr Hayward does not talk about his emotions because ‘Masculinity,’ as it is defined by the media, is about aggression and strength. Being emotionally expressive and open is considered a feminine characteristic. His fixed notion of masculinity manifests in machismo. As a result, he’s unapproachable. Frayn uses a range of techniques and methods in order to convey Mr Hayward’s personality as well inform readers about the important social issue that dominated the 1940s, machismo.


  • stanleybyrne

    Stanley Byrne is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher. He has degrees in education and political science from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in various teaching and research positions since he graduated in 2014. He is the author of a number of educational blog posts and has written for Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Salon.