About a Boy by Nick Hornby: Marcus and His Choices

Topics: Lie, Emotion, Nick Hornby Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: August 3, 2013
To what extent do you sympathise with Marcus and the choices he has to make in About a Boy? Discuss the techniques the author has used and use examples from the text to support your answer. In the novel “About a Boy” by Nick Hornby, the character of Marcus has to make numerous choices which affect his life in a variety of different ways. Marcus is 12 years old and because of this, he is often naïve and hasty is his decisions but he makes them in order to protect himself. These choices that he makes include; setting up his mum, Fiona, with a relative stranger, Will, hiding out at Will’s flat every afternoon and lying to Ellie in order to become friends. All these decisions Marcus makes to protect him and while some of them may be made in haste, it is easy to sympathise with them and show his desperation to have people around him. Following Fiona’s attempted suicide, Marcus feels the need to look after his mother and also to have more people around the house, so he decides to set her up on a date. Marcus is desperate to find someone else to join their family and thinks that ‘”if a girl and a boy met, and they didn’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and they both looked alright, and they didn’t mind each other, then they might as well go out.” (Page 84) This misguided train of thought leads Marcus to set up his mum with Will, a 36 year old who was trying to seduce with his mum’s best friend, in an attempt to expand his family and surround himself with a support network. Following their lunch, Marcus becomes excited at the prospect of having someone else in his family. “Would they move into Will’s place, he wondered, or buy somewhere new?” (Page 86) In order to convey Marcus’ hopefulness and misunderstanding of the situation Nick Hornby uses the irony of saying “Will knew the Fiona was not his type” straight after Marcus’ statement of anticipation. This is quite tragic for Marcus as, through his lack of experience, he does not realise that it takes more than...
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