Analysis of the Wasp Factory

Commentary for “The Wasp Factory” by Iain Banks

Iain Banks key concerns in “The Wasp Factory” are gender identification, Bank’s sceptical attitude to organised religions, violence, misuse of power and mock violent epic fantasy. He uses stylistic features such as temporal shifts and the technique of postmodernism gothic. In order to experience how Bank’s creates his characters and effects, I have replicated some of these concerns, features and techniques in my own piece, intended to flow in from the extract in chapter five, following on from the kite incident.

Bank’s uses the technique of post modernism, in order for the reader to be manipulated into experiencing challenging ideas such as sadistic violence. In reality, the brutality Frank inflicts upon innocent animals is shocking to the reader. However, in Bank’s literature, reading about rabbits being killed by fanciful weaponry such as a “flame thrower”, and the narrators despair at “the damn thing wouldn’t die! “Is considered to be humorous. This is precisely the reason I chose the kite incident for my recreative writing, as an innocent girl being bought to her death by a innocent child’s toy represents Bank’s black humour. The author’s use of a cool indifferent narrative tone juxtaposes with the violent imagery. I replicated this, by using positive connotations such as ‘excitement” and “playful”, to recreate the shock factor Bank’s uses. I also used a detached tone when describing Esmeralda floating into the air to make the imagery seem traumatising, and to reflect Frank’s joyfulness in violence.

Bank’s uses the technique of post modernism, in order to provoke a response from the reader. This uncanny method is mostly used in the gothic genre. This term was invented by Freud as ‘class of frightening things that lead us back to what is known as familiar”. The only style of writing that the reader recognises and finds normality in is in the domestic environment.   There is a contrast in the language...