Link is the main character of Robert Swindells’ novel Stone Cold. He is a British teenager who grew up in Bradford until he became homeless. Link does not reveal his real name, as he feels that he is “one of the invisible people” (0%) whose identity does not matter. Link’s age is not disclosed, but he reveals that he was born in 1977 and that he is older than fourteen (Daily Routine Orders 1, 50%) and younger than eighteen (Daily Routine Orders 4, 100%).
Link’s parents are divorced (Daily Routine Orders 1, 50%) and he blames his new family situation on his mother’s new boyfriend, Vince, who is abusive towards Link and his older sister Carole. When Link decides to leave home, he spends some time in his hometown, Bradford, but then moves to London because he feels ashamed of being recognized by people he knows.
Link only describes himself physically when he talks about his “scruffier” looks (Daily Routine Orders 2, 67%) and the fact that he looks “like a tramp” (Daily Routine Orders 3, 80%) after his stay in London: “My clothes were sodden rags. My fingernails were long black claws, I had matted hair down to my shoulders and I stank” (Daily Routine Orders 10, 60%).
Link’s unstable family situation makes him fall victim to homelessness
Link’s life shows that homelessness can affect people who lead an apparently ordinary life. In the beginning, he mentions that his parents are “Mr & Mrs X” (Daily Routine Orders 1, 50%), which suggests that they could be anyone. His family life is unstable, as his father leaves his wife and two children to run off with another woman when Link is fourteen (Daily Routine Orders 1, 50. Vince’s presence in his mother’s life makes Link uncomfortable, as his influence is far from the parental guidance that Link needs: “It makes me puke” (Daily Routine Orders 1, 50%).
Link becomes a victim of Vince’s abuse and unlawful accusations and he fails to find support in his mother, who does not stick up for him. Moreover, Link’s mother fails to support her daughter when Vince is abusive towards her, which sh...