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World Literature

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Character Analysis - Frank

What type of character is Frank Cauldhame?

Frank is a lonely person; he doesn't appear to have many friends where he lives apart from Jamie, the dwarf boy who he goes to the pub with. He also does a lot of things on his own such as planning pretend battles between household objects or catching small rodents, killing them and placing their heads on the 'sacrifice poles that are scattered around the island. Right from the beginning we learn he is lonely. His brother Eric, is at a mental institution and it's only him and his father at his house. His father is not around a lot; he's normally in his study or out "...perhaps he was off to Inverness, where he often goes on business he prefers to keep mysterious..." Franks mother also "deserted him almost immediately" after Franks birth. Frank being lonely could be some of the reason he is the way he is.

Frank is sadistic. He causes his victims a lot of pain and appears to have no disregard to how they feel. He also thinks that it's ok to do it. A good example of Frank being sadistic is when he kills his cousin Blythe. He believed that Blythe should suffer as his rabbits had suffered with a painful death.

Frank is very intelligent. He doesn't always carefully plan the way he kills his three victims, but his alibis were extremely convincible. Especially when he killed Esmerelda because he believed that people would be suspicious of three deaths in his vicinity. "...three deaths ...within four years had to look suspicious, and I had already planned my reaction carefully." He enjoyed the acting he had to do for the people to believe him and even made the others believe he felt guilty and it was his fault so they would feel sympathetic towards him.

I put a question mark next to religious because Frank does talk about God after he kills Blythe "...I thought it was a judgment from God that Blythe had first lost his leg and had the replacement become the instrument of his downfall" However this is contradicted because when Eric says God isn't like that, Frank replies the one he believed in was. Frank also believes in Symbolism and destiny

Frank is a strong believer in symbolism and destiny which are key factors in understanding the character of Frank. The Wasp Factory is a clock face salvaged from the local dump. Behind each numeral is a trap, which leads to a different ritual death for the wasp that Frank puts into the hole at the centre. He uses the death "chosen" by the wasp to divine the future. Frank also names places after events or objects that he finds in those places such. Such as the area he killed Blythe in, he called the snake park. Some objects that are significant to him. His sling shot was called Black Destroyer and when it broke after strangling the rabbit with it he saw it fit to call the hill 'Black Destroyer Hill' to remember the sling shot he once had. He feels that some of the symbols area sign that he must obey such as the bomb he used to blow up Paul. Paul's death seemed also to be his destiny as Frank said "...I knew from an early age that Paul was not meant for this world..."

I believe that a lot of Frank's character can be brought out through his experiences, mainly the three murders that he committed. I'm going to explore why he killed these three people.

Frank first killed his cousin Blythe. When Frank was young and when Eric wasn't insane, Blythe had killed their rabbits with a flamethrower that Eric himself had made. This was part of the reason Eric went crazy because he was deeply affected by this. Frank believed that Blythe should deserve to die so that a score is settled.



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