Frayn also included several clues that highlight Stephen’s Jewish heritage-‘the cabbalistic moon’ is a reference on the Jewish religion and its interpretation of the Old Testament. The reference to staying in on a Friday night by Stephen’s mother seems unusual to the reader and we as well as Stephen begin to wonder why. Another clue is revealed when Stephen gets bullied and called a ‘sheeny’ at school.
‘Sheeney’ is a derogatory word for a Jew thus this provokes a very concerned response from his parents. Furthermore, Stephen and his family were called the ‘juice. ‘ This phonetic pronunciation adds innocence to the term, which is ironic due to the setting of the text, which is in World War 2. The espionage adventure involves Stephen and Keith spying on Mrs. Hayward in their hideout amongst the privet bush. They follow her around and record her daily routine in their logbook.
‘Keith crosses out BIRDS and writes LOGBOOK SECRIT. ‘ Keeping a logbook shows how seriously they take this game of espionage, as they are very keen to contribute to the war effort. This idea is strengthened when Stephen states-‘we have to make sacrifices for the War Effort’ as they ‘have to endure hardship for the sake of the Duration. ‘ Ironically, Keith misspells the word secret. This emphasizes their youthfulness, naivety and childhood innocence and unawareness.
A childish perspective is maintained throughout the naive and innocent portrayal of Stephen and Keith. When they look through Keith’s mother’s diary, they discover crosses-‘the meeting with x’ ‘once every four weeks. ‘ Unfortunately, they misinterpret the markings of her menstrual cycle as they foolishly come into conclusion that she is having secret meetings with Germans on the dates that are marked with x.
This is another example, which puts a heavy emphasis on the boys’ naivety. Frayn uses three different narrative voices to narrate the story. The story begins in the point of view of the old man first person narrator. Frayn uses present tense to tell the story of Stephen going back to ‘Amnesia Avenue’ to find closure. Frayn uses intrusive and proleptic narration as Stephen tries to locate his ‘source of unrest, of something at the back of it all that remains unresolved. ‘