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Context Literature / TheWaspFactory

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1[[quoteright:350:]]˛˛->''Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim.\˛That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again.\˛It was just a stage I was going through.''˛˛''The Wasp Factory'' is a 1984 novel written by Creator/IainBanks. It tells the story of Frank Cauldhame, your average sixteen year-old murdererous sociopath who lives with his highly secretive father on an isolated island in North East Scotland. Frank's daily routine consists of disturbing shamanistic rituals, which include brutal animal sacrifice, that he believes give him control over the island. In addition to this he has also murdered three members of his family.˛˛Frank's horrific and insular world is disrupted when he begins receiving calls from his older brother Eric who has escaped from his mental institution. As Frank begins to relate the circumstances which led to his brother's breakdown, he also begins to dig deeper into his father's secrets, leading to several deeply unpleasant revelations...˛----˛!!Provides examples of the following tropes:˛˛* AxCrazy: Our beloved narrator. In a big way. Bombs, fires, catapulting weapons at victims, catapulting victims at weapons, [[spoiler:snakes]], [[spoiler:kites]]... about the only thing he ''doesn't'' use is an axe. ˛* BerserkButton: For Eric, pretty much anything involving dogs. ˛* ComingOfAgeStory: A dark, horrific, and deeply warped one, but one nonetheless.˛* CreepyMonotone: Deadpan, intellectual, not-supposed-to-be-ironic musings on the nature of democracy and its similarities to Frank's defunct conscience, squeezed in between unsentimental, matter-of-fact descriptions of being a [[EnfantTerrible seven-year-old]] [[AxeCrazy serial killer?]] Definitely qualifies on this trope.˛* EnfantTerrible: Frank used to be one.˛* FreudianExcuse: Frank's childhood accident. [[spoiler:Subverted at the end.]]˛* GroinAttack: Very much PlayedForDrama in Frank's backstory.˛* HairTriggerTemper: Fail to keep up with Eric's deranged trains of thought and he [[spoiler:smashes up phone boxes]] and [[spoiler:does unkind things to puppies.]]˛%% * HeManWomanHater: Frank˛* InsultBackfire: A somewhat meta example. When the book was first published, ''The Irish Times''' review of it called it "a work of unparalleled depravity." The paperback edition gleefully used this as a cover blurb.˛* {{Irony}}: Frank is [[HeManWomanHater a misogynist who hates women]]. [[spoiler: Frank was RaisedAsTheOppositeGender and is in fact a girl]].˛* MeaningfulName: Frank's little brother was born in the same moment as their father killed their dog Old Saul, and the father named the baby Paul. The apostle Paul was named Saul before he converted to Christianity.˛* [[spoiler:RaisedAsTheOppositeGender.]] The twist. [[spoiler:Frank is really a girl.]]˛%% * SamusIsAGirl: [[spoiler:Frank]]˛* ShoutoutToShakespeare: Eric: "To bed, to sleep, perchance to masturbate -- [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} aye there's the rub.]]"˛* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:"My greatest enemies are Women and the Sea. These things I hate. Women because they are weak and stupid and live in the shadow of men and are nothing compared to them"]]. Oh, Frank. If you only knew...˛* TwistEnding: [[spoiler: [[SamusIsAGirl Frank being a girl]].]]˛%% * UnreliableNarrator: ''And how''...˛----


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