Shelter is one of the two first-person narrators in Robert Swindell’s Stone cold. In the novel Swindell’s follows the runaway teenager, Link, from his home in Bradford to the mean streets of London where his path crosses that of Shelter, an ex-soldier who creates his own army while also cleaning up the streets of the homeless people he despises. In this essay I will show how the character is portrayed and how our view of him changes throughout the novel.
In daily routine orders 3 Swindell’s choice of language makes Shelter sound very negative and hateful in the way he talks about homeless people. Swindells also uses army terms such as ‘Tour of inspection’ and it tells us that Shelter must be an ex-soldier and must still believe he is one. This gives us the impression that there’s something not quite just right about Shelter.
In daily routine orders 4 Shelter goes on to explain how the secret of victory in any campaign is planning and preparation. He describes his planning as being “Meticulous and my preparations are now complete”. One of the things he has acquired has helped him to complete and that is a cat. He talks of the cat as his distraction to who he really is. “A man who keeps a cat can’t possible mean any harm, can he?” He also named the cat Sappho which will project an image of a kind man who cares. There’s not yet any indication of violent intentions but there is a suspicion of something untoward.
Daily routine orders 5 & 6 enters into Shelter’s concept pf his ‘mission’ and we learn about his abnormal thought and views on murder. He believes that killing the homeless people on the streets is his job, his duty to his country. He creates a pleasant and warm atmosphere among the victims to make them feel safe and willing to do whatever he says for shelter and food and drink. “He fell for it, hook, line and sinker”. Shelter tricked...