“He had fought so hard for the past few hours, rejecting thoughts and images that had appeared like demons to torment him that he gave up and let the plan stay” At this point of the novel I still have sympathy for Michael. I believe and I don’t think anything could change my mind that Michael meant good for Owen. I can back this up with sufficient evidence which relates to Michael doing what was wanted from Owen. He granted Owen three wishes, to fly, play football and to swim.
Michael granted all three by taking him to the football game, bringing him swimming, and flying in a plane. Owen also said when he was experiencing a fit he felt brilliant. Michael did the “killing” when Owen was in having a fit. “Everything’s right. Everything’s in its right place… it’s the right colour, the right smell. Sometimes I get a smell that… it’s beautiful”, “The whole thing is… beautiful. I… be happy” and “I would like to be like that all the time”
The novel starts to change in tone dramatically after the thirteenth chapter, everything starts to go downhill and Michael starts to show a little bit of desperation and insanity by moving into a squat with Owen and Haddock who is a homosexual, drug addict and a pervert”. Michael gets a job and leaves Owen in the “Squat” alone when he return Haddock is being friendlier than ever with Owen. At this point I felt Michael had made the biggest mistake so far and if he was to continue living with Owen he should get out of the Squat but he refuses and chances his luck for a second day.
Michael returns home from work the second day and finds Haddock wearing a dress with Owen smoking cannabis. This time Michael is furious and tells Haddock not to come back he threatens him as well. When Michael threatened Haddock this showed Michael having responsibility and trying to do the best for Owen and again the Father like son theme. Leaving Owen by himself could have lead to a bigger disgusting scene. “If I get you in that room again, I’ll thump your teeth down your throat. ”
I think the Haddock incident is significant because this showed how much desperate and determinate Michael was to make him and Owen make it to a better life. The climax comes in the last chapter as the Author is trying to lead you into his frame of mind. He creates more suspense with the atmosphere he creates. “On the way to the beach Michael is still feeling very tense. He has the feeling that he is being followed or watched. ” Michael returned to Ireland with Owen, I think this was the right thing to do as this is where the boy was born and this is where if he had the choice would want to die.
He also granted his wish to fly. He brings him to the beach and lets him swim. Again making the boy happy and granting him his wishes. Suddenly the use of the weather comes back into the picture when the sky darkens and lighting starts to strike. This is the first time horrendous weather has been brought into the novel this clearly indicated that the biggest event of the novel was going to happen. The author makes the ending very quick and brutally disturbing.
He uses techniques in his writing to make the reader feel horror and emotion. “In his gripping fingers he could feel the throb of the boy’s life and he gritted his teeth, willing himself to complete what he had started. ” At the end of this novel I was in shock. I did not believe that a Brother would take the life from a young boy. I like the way the author created suspense. The violent /disturbing ending to this book from my own opinion was unique and works well. Although I do wish we found out what had happened to Michael.
My conclusion is that I do sympathise with Michael and in my opinion the loss of his father did not put him into the right frame of mind. He also wanted the best for Owen and believed that he could have made it work between them and for them, which in the end floundered because of his inexperience with the real world. I believe that the killing was an “act of Love” and that Michael granted him the wishes as Owen had wished for them, he then tried to kill him when he was in a fit as he believed that Owen would leave the world in the best possible way at that point and time of his life.