Boekverslag: The scarlet boy
Edward have bought firework by himself and let it off, and he is very disappointed of it because it disappears too fast. Edward will go to a new school in a month; it is a grammar school. He would travel a lot every day: first by bus, then by train and then another bus. At this time he is at a secondary modern boys? school, but it is too easy for him, according to himself he will be in the top of the class in the next three years when he will stay on the same school. His mother doesn?t agree because she thinks he would be different from everybody else in the village and her other reason is that the school would cost too much money. His father is nice to him and will pay the extras. Edward doesn?t like his school because there he is no different from the others in class. The second reason is that the boys are sporting and gardening a lot and he dislikes both of these pursuits. He is also offended of boys who are very often caned for the smallest of misdemeanours. The boys in his class are bored; they are just hanging about the class and haven?t got any motivation to learn. Because he is high talented he doesn?t have much homework and that?s why he finds his days extremely dire and sad. At a previous school he had discovered reading and after that he absorbed book after book.
He has got a friend since April; his name is Lawrence Brackenbury. When Christmas comes Lawrence can start to work; he will dig up a field that should be ploughed. He doesn?t mind to work down the pit but his mother doesn?t agree. Another option is that he will work at Benmore?s Edge and Tool Works. (They make pliers etc.) Edward doesn?t know what kind of job he is going to do, but he won?t go down the pit because it won?t suit him.
Lawrence is nearly fifteen years old, he looks like eighteen years old, is broad-shouldered, gangly legged and six-foot in his stocking feet. His hair, is a mass of short unruly black curls which always looks as if a high voltage of electricity has been passed through them, that gives a slight wild, devil-may-care look. He is gentle-nature and thinks and feels like a fourteen-year-old boy.
Edward looks twelve, but feels and thinks like a sixteen-year-old boy.
Lawrence tells Edward a secret; there live owls in the barn. While they are having a look in the barn, Lawrence wants to put his cock between Edward?s legs. Edward agrees but he doesn?t like it.
The other day, when Edward wants to go into his classroom, Malcolm Cattermole warns him that he is not allowed to go in there. Malcolm is a thin, pathetic boy and is very frighten to go inside. He is a friend of Edward.
Edward doesn?t listen to Malcolm?s advise and goes into the cloakroom, when Malcolm sees it is save he also goes into the cloakroom; they haven?t said that they are not allowed to go in the cloakroom and they are not in the classroom. Suddenly Edward?s teacher; Mr Proctor comes in and is really angry. Edward makes up an excuse for being in the cloakroom. He says that that were warming up their hands, talking and looking at the pictures. Then his teacher says that he could warm their hands if they are cold and picks his instrument and he hints Malcolm on his hands with it. Edward is the next one and it is so painfully that he is crying. After their punishment they don?t follow lessons anymore on that day because the pain is too much for them.
At home his mother sees his hand directly and he has to explain what happened that day. His mother is furious, she is going to talk to his teacher, because he is not allowed to hit him anyway.
The next Monday at two p.m. his mother comes into the classroom, she speaks furiously and walks sharply and fearlessly. She has no respect for him and takes revenge on him. She speaks sarcastic to him. After she had said that if he lays a finger on Edward again she will swing for him, she leaves the classroom silently. The next afternoon Malcolm is too late and Mr Proctor wants to hit him again with his stick. Malcolm refuses to hold up his hands because he doesn?t have to, according to his mother. For Mr Proctor the wholes lesson turn into a drama. Mr Proctor tells Edward to go out of his lesson, but Edward doesn?t mind, he is very glad if it.
Edward goes with his mother to the library of Batsford by bus. He is not very sexual developed, for example his parents just told him how babies are got. He is daydreaming on his way. When he is in Batsford his mother leaves him and he has to go to the library on his own. About nine miles away from Batsford There is a young girl who is hopelessly backward and terribly handicapped. She is living in a home for people, who are handicapped, and she is Edward?s sister, but he doesn?t know about her.
When Edward is in the library and Angela Gayle has a gift for him; she has a copy of Ivanhoe for him. He and Angela are a kind of friends; she shows him the new part of the library and is a bit sad that he will leave Batsford. That day three members of the local council come to see how their money is spend, Edward has to study and read in the library while the visitors are there. According to Angela he played a wonderful game, Edward told that the reference library is such a success. But it isn?t that at all.
While Edward is walking out of the library he stops at a monument of the First World War. He is thinks about that he hasn?t got any grandparents. He has a lot of uncles and aunts, but that doesn?t take away that he thinks that he is missing things because he hasn?t got any grandparents. His parents never want to go to any caf? in town. Edward does like to go to the Milk Bar, because he likes the sphere there. He thinks that his parents are misery, because they are always complaining that everything is too expensive. They don?t spend much money, but his father has a good job. He is also daydreaming about going to the cinema. In several days Edward will go to his new school, in the main time he stays a home, for helping his mother, because his father is sick and his mother is going to have a baby. When he is at home his mother shows him his new school uniform, it is scarlet. From that time he is a scarlet boy.
By the springtime of the following year Edward couldn?t get along with his mother. There were resentments, mutterings etc. The journey to and from his new school is much longer than the journey to his old school.
Within three months, Edward claws his way from a b-stream into an a-stream. For the first time in his school life he enjoys to go to school, he likes the people who are in school. And for the fist time he came second in class, because he came always first in class.
He wants to have some underpants. Normally he wears a shirttail, but all his classmates wear underpants so that?s why he wants that too. First his mother protests, but then she agrees, but she buys only too underpants for him. Edward wants to have more, for changing them, but according to his mother it is too expensive.
On Saturday he has got a job, he delivers bread and cakes. He has given up his job, because people from school have seen him, the boys were teasing and threading him that day. He tells his mother about it, and she is overreacting and furious at him. He has to take it back or he has to leave school, and leaving school is the last thing that he wants.
His parents have left the house, This is the time to go to Mr Starsbrook, and he might engage him. May be he could collect bets for him. He goes to Mr Starsbrook, at first Edward starts a nice conversation with him and after that he asks if Mr Starsbrook needs someone who collect bets for him, because Mr Starsbrook earns not enough money with his comics and magazines. When Edward takes this job he is going to break the law, but he doesn?t mind because he doesn?t look like a criminal. Mr Starsbrook thinks that it is a great idea, so Edward is going to take this job and is going to have ten percent of the profit. They have to keep it secretly because his parents would not agree with it. When Edward comes at home he makes a surprise for his parents; he makes a special lunch for them. He goes fishing at a canal bank, which?s a secret place of Lawrence and Edward. He fang water chess for his father and at lunch he told them about his new job. They hardly agreed with it.
Edward thinks that he is gay and he knows that he is different and that he is a changeling. He feels bewildered about it, but not ashamed.
That evening there is a poetry competition at school, the choral sing a few songs and there is also a judge for the poems, which are written a couple of days ago. Edward has received the second price. The third winner is Roland Costello. He has to read his poem up and it is about a man who loves another man. For the first time he realises that he is not the only man in the world who is gay. He has always thought that he was the only gay in the world. They are standing next to each other and it is just like they know each other for years, but they have never seen each other before.
They are talking about that the first prizewinner Fosberry doesn?t deserve his prize. Roland tells Edward that his mother had to marry because she was pregnant. Edward is shocked of it. Roland and his mother are very close and tell everything to each other. He tells Edward that he sometimes play truant, for spending a day with his mother. Roland is totally different from him. He doesn?t have any interest in school; he wises that you could find it all out from books or that tutors could visit you at home. During their first meeting Roland says that he wants to be called Costello, because everybody calls him like that. From that time his name is Costello. Costello invites him for joining him in at the class in elocution and drama.
On a Saturdays he goes to his work and he enjoys his morning job because he has become popular throughout his village and he also entered an adult world, which intrigued and beguiled him. He always goes at first to Viola Settle. She is an enormous woman, about fifty years old. She is a sweet natural, kind of woman who knows how to put kindness and sweetness for over three years. She is always looking forward to his visiting. Then he goes to Mrs Piper.
Edward is like his father always punctual. For the past three weeks Costello has been always late. He always told eyewashes to Belinda Spight (She is the teacher) so that he even convinced himself he was telling the truth. That day he is late again and this time he tells that his grandmother is very sick and may be she is a he loves him. Before that Edward was fallen in love with him too. Edward challenges Bruce to kiss him, but then Brace says that he was only joking.
Costello has Edward invited for a pyjama-party. Edward meets for the first time Mrs Costello. She is huge woman. He has never heard of a Mr Costello, but she is a man and woman in one.
Ann Costello assumes that the boys will share a bed. Costello protests immediately, he says that Edward is like a sister. So Edward in going to sleep in another bedroom.
In the evening they go to a pub, Bruce is there too. Bruce apologises for what he said at the costume fitting. There he gets his first real kiss from Bruce, who is really in love with him, Edward has kissed before but that was only for fun. They are going to sleep at the pub. Ann is fine about it. But they have to keep it secretly; otherwise people will talk about it. That?s why they leave the pub separated. When Edward looks into the mirror he sees that his cheeks are as scarlet as his school blazer. That night he makes love to Bruce, but it is not very special, it is all over in ten minutes, then they both fall asleep.
Next morning, when Bruce wakes up he doesn?t say any word of love to Edward. Edward?s parents aren?t churchgoers. In his mothers opinion it has no sense in allowing some man in a frock to tell her how to behave when she already knows that.
His father doesn?t mind about church, he thinks that what other people do on their Sundays is their affair. Edward has to hurry because he is going to church with Ann and Costello. He hasn?t washed himself this morning. He thinks that everybody could see that he had made love to a boy and that they could smell the sex around him.
He meets Lawrence, and he hasn?t seen him for a long time. Lawrence is going to marry Laurie in August. After church he has to hurry for his job. At home his parents leave home, and they are back for tea, his mother warns him not to pry at home. When he is at Mr Starsbrook?s house Brigit Casey gives him a not which says that he has to go to Viola Settles home. When he is at Viola Settles home Mr Starsbrook tells him that she died this morning and that she has left him some money. On the way home he thinks about it, and he also asks himself why his parents are so often from home and that he is not allowed to pry at home. He thinks that the reason is that his mother is may be very sick and that they keep it secret to protect him. At home he pries for some photographs at his parents? room. He finds some photographs with a little girl on it, he doesn?t know who this girl is. He waits until his parents come home. When his parents are at home he asks who this girl is. At first his mother is angry because she has told him not to pry. But then his father explains that this girl is Edward?s sister who is two years older than he is and her name is Lily. She is handicapped and lives at a home for those people. His parents have kept is all secretly to protect Edward and that it didn?t had a bad influence on him. He also explains that she feels bad of Lily and end up taking it out on Edward sometimes. She finds it hard to show her love for Edward because Lily was getting in the way. His parents visit their daughter often and she is fine. Edward wants to come with them when they go again to Lily. He wants to spend his money that he has get from Mrs Settle to buy some presents for his parents and his sister, but his mother says that is better when he keeps it and that he is going to buy something for himself.
Now he finally understands who his mother was sometimes so loveless and she begins to take her mask off.
Edward is a boy who feels and thinks like a sixteen-year-old boy but he looks like twelve and he is nearly fifteen. His nickname is Eddy. From the beginning he knows that he is gay. He hates it when his parents are avariciously, because he thinks it is only the three of them. At the end of they book he realises that he has got a sister. He hasn?t got many relationships; the only boyfriend he ever had is Bruce and it was not serious, it was only an one-night-stand. His parents don?t know that he is gay he wishes that his mother is like Ann Costello who accepts that her son is gay and she is always friendly and patiently and love full to her son. He thinks that she is the perfect mother. In chapter one he goes to secondary modern school and at that time he knows that he is going to leave school within a month. He thinks that it is quiet boring at school because he hasn?t had to do anything.
His hobby is reading he goes often to the library and then he talks to Angela Gayle and she helps him with finding good books.
Otherwise his relationship with his mother isn?t very good; he loves her, in chapter 13 he is worried about her. When he finds out about his handicapped sister, his doesn?t mind that she is handicapped he just want to see her.
Mrs (Ester) Warrington
She is Edward?s mother. She is very tactless and very strict. She feels bad about Lily and sometimes she ends up those feelings taking it out on Edward. She and Edward have always words. But on the other hand she takes Edward?s part, for example when his teacher had hit him. She really loves Edward but she doesn?t know how to show her love for Edward because Lily is getting in the way.
He is Edward?s father. He is a nice man, who really loves his son and always explains his wife?s meanings to his son, because she reacts her bad feelings on him. He also quiets their rows, and most of the times he takes Edward?s part. He has a good relationship with his wife and son.
In the beginning he is nearly fifteen, tall for his age and has all the appearance of an eighteen-year-old. He is gentle-nature and thinks and feels like most fourteen-year-olds. First he is Edward?s friend, but when Edward leaves the secondary modern school they don?t meet each other any more. Except at chapter thirteen when they are both in church. He is going to marry Laurie in August.
Costello (Roland Costello)
He also goes to grammar school. Has ahs a very good relationship with his mother. He often takes a day free of from school, then his mother lies that he is ill. On those days he does lovely things with his mother. Costello wants to be called Costello and not Roland. He is also gay and he has never been a boyfriend of Edward because Costello sees Edward as a sister. When they meet each other for the first time they are directly friends, and talk if they know each other for years. He is always late and then he lies so well he even convinces himself he is telling the truth.
She is Costello?s mother and wants to be called Ann. She accepts that her son is gay. She is very friendly and is a huge woman. She is according to Edward a man and wife in one. For Edward she is a perfect mother, who really shows that she loves her son. Edward misses the love and the hugs from his mother, he can?t remember when his mother gave him for the last time a hug or said a loving word to him. His mother is a contrast with Ann.
He is also gay and he is the first boyfriend of Edward. His parents don?t know that he is gay and he is always afraid of people who will talk about him.
The book is called the scarlet boy because Edward ?s school uniform of the grammar school is scarlet. The other reason is that when he was making love for the first time with a boy, the next morning he had to go to church and he was scarlet of shame. It seemed like everybody was looking at him and that they could read for his face that he had made love with a man.
I liked this book very much because of the humour in it. The middle part is a bit boring, and isn?t so good written as the other part of the book, because in the middle part is less exiting.
- The scarlet boy
- Tom Wakefield
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