Composing a novel requires an additional influence from an actual series of events, this gives the events in the story a sense of validity. Shadows in the Mirror is set at an elite boys boarding school. An action called “the treatment” is very familiar for the boarders. It is when a bunch of students tie up another student’s hands and force them to pull their pants down and they assault this student with a wooden baton. One of the ex-students at Hamilton High, named Dyson, was informing this action to David and Simon, “It was just what used to be done when they wanted to really get even with someone, they had this wooden baton with a metal tip … we put a pillow over his head so that he couldn't scream. A couple of boys stripped him from waist down … they held him down”. This action is clearly based on a real event, which is the Trinity incident.
In 2001, an incident that took place at Trinity Grammar School, was being reported. There were rumours that instead of dealing with the problem, the school made up a cover-up to maintain their image and reputation in the society. Teachers at Trinity Grammar weren’t really paying attention to the victim; they gave more attention to the bullies, the sports stars at the school. This event is clearly reflected in the novel via this quote, “I went to Gleeson’s cottage and told him what had happened, but he didn't care. He told me that if I had a problem I should get Duncan to sort it out”. He tried to inform to Gleeson that a couple of guys attacked him but Gleeson didn’t care. Understanding the historical