Relationship between the children
The story explores the relationship between the children who live in the town. From the beginning of the story, we discover that the narrator is close to Ivan and would like to spend more time with him: “I wished he could stay until teatime when the mothers started bellowing names, rounding us up like stray sheep, but he never did” (ll. 8-10). Their like-mindedness is also suggested by the fact that they have similar theories about events in town: “…Ivan and I had a different theory on the weirdo. It was a man, escaped from the asylum, in women’s clothes and a wig.” (ll. 46-48).
Despite this, the narrator tries to hide his friendship with Ivan in front of another boy, Noel: “I yelled ‘Fatso!’ into the air in Ivan’s general direction, but only because Noel Conway was strutting towards me like he owned the estate. I hoped Ivan hadn’t heard” (ll. 11-12). This is because Noel is a bully, as it is later indicated by the fact that he mocked another boy named Roland about his mother (ll. 44-45). However, the fact that the narrator does not want Ivan to hear his mean comment is an indication that he does not want to hurt his friend, but he also cares about being popular and maintaining a tough image in front of Noel.
The relationship between the boys is also influenced by physical violence. Noel lost a tooth in a fight with Roland, and the narrator has also had a physical confrontation with him: “…not quite squaring up to Noel’s bulky frame, but I’d held my own in a scuffle with him once, and he’d never forgotten” (ll. 16-17). However, the narrator does spend time with Noel, spying on Mrs Walsh: “...