Narrator and point of view

The novel Stone Cold by Robert Swindells has two different narrators – Link and Shelter – who tell the story in the first person. The dual narratives provide the alternate perspectives of the two narrators, highlight their differences, and create a contrast between Link and Shelter. 

Link’s point of view makes readers empathize with his situation. His account shows that he was forced to become homeless because of his unfortunate family situation. Furthermore, Link’s tone is casual and honest, and he tries to give a realistic portrayal of what it means to be young and homeless:

Now and then you doze a bit, but only a bit. You’re so cold, so frightened and it hurts so much that you end up praying for morning even though you’re dog-tired – even though tomorrow is certain to be every bit as grim as yesterday. And the worst part is knowing you haven’t deserved any of it. (Daily Routine Orders 8, 70%)

Link’s account makes readers empathize with homeless people and reflect on the circumstances that have brought them to that point. Although he presents the vulnerability of being homeless, Link does it matter-of-factly and does not look for readers’ pity. 

Shelter’s point of view highlights his hatred and prejudice against homeless people. As he talks about getting rid of the homeless, Shelter’s tone is cruel and judgmental, which suggests that he is a dangerous man: 

Oh, no. They abolished National Service, and they’ve put me where I can’t turn garbage into men any more, but I can clean up the...

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