Bainbridge, B. (1991). The Birthday Boys. London: Hachette UK.
“The Birthday Boys” is an acclaimed piece of literary work by Beryl Bainbridge. This novel was published in the year 1991and presents an imaginary tale of South Pole mission by captain Robert Falcon Scott. This story describes the emotional aspect of human endurance and misguided audacity in a very realistic manner. This paper intends to discuss the novel with a focuses on courage as central them of the story.
Beryl Bainbridge is an English author who is named as one of the greatest authors of the United Kingdom. The author has won several prestigious awards including Whitbread award. Bainbridge, several times nominee for the booker award, was declared as a national treasure of Britain. She was very fond of writing and worked on a variety of subjects including fiction and literature. Bainbridge wrote several drama, fiction and novels during her life and was appreciated by the English for her literary contributions (Bainbridge, 1991).
“The Birthday Boys” is one famous fiction of the author. This was her favorite area of writing and after reading this novel; it becomes clear why she is known one of the best fiction writers of the Britain. “The Birthday Boys” was published in the year when she was already established as one of the best writers of this area. Bainbridge was an intelligent writer who used to connect with readers in an easy way.
The story revolves around an expedition, led by Captain Scott in the year 1912. Berry Bainbridge presents a fictional account of this mission in a manner that is highly appreciated by the readers. The South Pole expedition was lead by Captain Scott with his team of four members. Each members of the team presents his version that becomes part of this book. The story moves ahead and readers find that some of these men are not reliable (Bainbridge, 1991).
This team is harebrained and irrespective of being skillful, these people act like amateurs. All these men are in illusion of their bravery and put themselves in fatal situations. Poignant trek by Captain Scott is portrayed as a remarkable moment and portrays his heroic figure (Grubisic, 2008). This South Pole expedition thrills readers and they cannot afford to stay calm and without shivering. The author appears succeeding in her mission to entertain readers through her fictional story.
Central character, Captain Scott represents heroism and sacrifice. The book appears to be a blend of compassion, fiction, organization and art of the author. Bainbridge again proves to be a terrifying ventriloquist who divided this story into five different sections. Every chapter of the book is represented by different narrator who reached to the pole but could not return live due to hunger, thirst, cold, and lack of safety (Grubisic, 2008).
Welshman taffy narrates Chapter 1 and through this chapter, Bainbridge portrays the adventurous expedition of southern Wales. This adventurous expedition was successfully completed two years ago of the South Pole expedition. The author lets the readers to interpret the version of narrator and they can interpret whether the narrator is right or his version of the story is exaggerated (Crown, 2010). A number of detailed information regarding the polar expedition is given in this section that attracts readers.
Manliness and courage appear to be the main theme of this narrative. All chapters of the story present a different kind of the courageous activity that clues readers about their bravery. All the narrators are courageous but they do not appear to be prudent in the same manner. Bravery is portrayed with a sense of childish behavior (Crown, 2010). It has been felt that the team members have behaved in an immature manner at several occasions.
This book educates about the South Pole and the expeditions in a substantial way. By reading this book, readers come to know how dangerous zone it is and how it is not meant for everybody. Such expeditions require not only courage but a lot of preparations and several other things. Devotion and risk taking capacity are tested in such risky expeditions and everybody cannot afford to go at places as South Pole.
The title of this novel is very strange in itself. The story is divided into different sections and a birthday is celebrated in each section of the story. The irony is that when people were dying the author names her novel “The Birthday boys”. The title of this novel masquerades a lot under the name. The story is about the deaths but the title is about the birthday which has to be understood by the readers.
Beryl Bainbridge is known for the humor but this story is about tragedy yet it appears a classic work. This story may appear to be a tragic story but indeed it is not a tragic story. There are some emotional aspects that are very prominent in this story. The author has portrayed the events and characters in a manner that lets readers to think about the working and behavior of people and not compels readers to lament.
The story line and realistic portrayal of events are strong part of the story while title and narrators’ character are the areas where there were chances of improvements. The story easily connects with the readers and keeps them curious and excited which is the strong aspect of the story. The author has delivered her best and this fictional work is known as one of acclaimed fictional works.
Having observed the abovementioned succinct analysis of the short story, “The Birthday Boys”, it can be concluded that the author has done a commendable job by presenting such a great work of fiction before the readers. The story is very good that keeps readers attached with it and educates a lot about the South Pole and expeditions. Emotion and courage are very prominently portrayed by the author in this story.
Bainbridge, B. (1991). The Birthday Boys. London: Hachette UK.
Crown, S. (2010, July 2). The Guardian. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from www.theguardian.com: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2010/jul/02/beryl-bainbridge-favourite-book
Grubisic, B. J. (2008). Understanding Beryl Bainbridge. Columbia, S. Carolina: Univ of South Carolina Press.
Krist, G. (1994, April 17). New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from www.nytimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/11/29/specials/bainbridge-birthday.html