Book Report on A Very Private Life by Michael Frayn

Essay by turbowriterHigh School, 12th gradeA-, July 2004

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Entry 1)

I chose to read 'A Very Private Life', which was written by Michael Frayn, because the book is considered a classic in many literary circles, and it is relatively short, which for my time-limited purposes increases it's attractiveness quite considerably. I, however, soon found out that the seemingly simple plot is impregnated with considerably more complicated and meaningful themes and messages, that the author skilfully struggles to portray and confer unto the audience.

The novel is set in the future, how far we can not be sure, because the only measure of time that we are given is the technological advancement of the society and culture of the characters. When the book was published in 1968, the described technology and state of society was probably considered to be a very distant concern, possibly many centuries into the future. However, the view of today's reader or at least of myself is that some of the technological possibilities and social distinctions that Michael Frayn considers in this book are possibly much more likely to occur and that if they did it could be within this century, or at least the next.

Inventions similar to 'holovision', are already being developed and the gap between technologically advanced, wealthy countries and developing poorer countries is ever widening.

In the very first line we are introduced to a girl called Uncumber, a young girl who lives with her family and belongs to the social class of the privileged 'insiders'. We learn that in this world there are two groups, the insiders and the outsiders which are referred to as animals.

The insiders are wealthy and influential. They hold positions of great importance and earn a living by spending their lives thinking, arguing, persuading and eventually deciding. They enjoy all the latest...