Focuses on a young boy, Neil who has a skin condition called psoriasis. This disease makes Neil feel insecure and his mother’s attitude towards him also does not help, she is almost ashamed of her sons condition and this makes Neil feel that he has hide the fact that he has psoriasis. Neil feels the pressure when he goes to stay with his friend Michael and his family, and faces situations where people may find out about his condition. These experiences help mature and develop Neil as a character and help him face up to his psoriasis.
At the beginning of the story, the author establishes how dependent Neil is of his mother. When Neil is unpacking his case he hears his mother’s voice. “Be tidy at all times, the no one can surprise you” We can see that Neil’s mother has a huge influence on him and then the writer uses italics to show the reoccurring voice inside Neil’s head. The writer also tries to put the point across that Neil sees the world through his mother’s.
Lastly, a contrast with Michael is developed, as he is swimming into the deep end, and the writer also makes this represent his life as he is fully stepped into it, is independent of him.
Therefore, the writer starts with a totally naïve, easily influenced character of Neil and transforms him into a more matured, at ease with himself character. The story left hope for the character of Neil that hopefully he will one day fully step into life and not care about how people will judge him, upon his psoriasis.
Start of the story
-come face to face with the dominance of Neil’s mother. ie,”Be tidy at all times, then no one can surprise you.” “A little too ornate for my taste-vulgar almost”=shows that Neil’s mother does not just exist in planning everything for him (although Neil had been reluctant because called a as a mama’s boy.), embedded herself in Neil’s thoughts, even to the end of the story ie “Close your mouth when you’re eating, please. Others have to live