Page 28. " emigrated to South Africa "

South Africa is a country on the bottom tip of Africa. It is most famous for apartheid, which was a political regime that split the population according to race, and allowed caucasians more rights, in every way, than other races.

Nelson Mandela
Creative Commons AttributionNelson Mandela
It is also famous for Nelson Mandela, who was a political activist during the regime, was imprisoned because of his "crimes against the state" in protest against its laws, and was released in 1990 once the ruling party, the National Party, decided to make moves towards a democratic state. He became South Africa's first black president after the first democratic and multi-racial elections in 1994. FW de Klerk, the president before then, and Mandela received a joint Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. 
Page 28. " the policy of separate development as 'apart-hate' "

This is obviously the incorrect spelling for "apartheid". The system was propagated in South Africa and focused on legal racial segregation, which resulted in the majority of black and non-white inhabitants being monitored and controlled, and minority rule by whites being maintained. In Afrikaans, which is a uniquely South African language, it means "separateness".

Page 29. " turned on his Calor-gas stove and heater "

Calor Gas is a brand of gas that comes in cylinders and was originally used in cooking and heating appliances. The gas is a mixture of butane and propane.

Page 29. " lit a Marlboro "

A Marlboro refers to a brand of cigarette named "Marlboro". The brand made extensive use of billboard and magazine advertising, perpetuating the image of the Marlboro Man, a ruggedly handsome cowboy-type character, who represented something that the men smoking Marlboros might aspire towards. The music theme for the series "The Magnificent Seven" was used as background music for the adverts in the 60's.

Marlboro also advertised on television:

Page 30. " I was down-wind, of course "

Downwind is in the direction that the wind is blowing. This is the best position to take when hunting, as the prey is less likely to smell or hear you - both sound and smell are blown away from them.

Page 30. " I crawled quietly up the slope, the grass sliding under my chest and belly "

Low crawl in use in US Army
Public DomainLow crawl in use in US Army
This is a description of the manner in which cadets in the army crawl along the ground to avoid being spotted by the enemy. In proper terms, it is a low crawl.

Page 32. " This wasn't Africa! It was a rabbit, not a lion! "

Africa is well-known for the Big Five, a group of large animals that are notoriously difficult to hunt. The category includes: African elephant; rhinoceros; Cape buffalo; leopard; and lion.

A lion
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA lion - Credit: Winfried Bruenken
The lion is a big cat, the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Some males exceed 250kg in weight. The comparison is obvious - the rabbit should in no way resemble a lion in its aggression! Here is the sound of the lion's roar.

Page 32. " bunnies like this Dobermann "

Dobermann, in this context, refers to a breed of dog called the Doberman Pinscher. The breed is known for its intelligence and alertness, while it makes an excellent companion dog. They were commonly used as guard or police dogs, and were specifically bred for this purpose. Their resulting temperaments created an unfortunate stereotype that the dog is aggressive and ferocious, although they are really sociable and loyal animals. They often have their tails docked and ears cropped, which adds to their vicious appearance.

Page 34. " checked the War Bag "

This is Frank’s name for the bag he takes along when playing out a war between two of his imaginative factions. It is obviously filled with Frank’s tools of war, such as his home-made bombs, steelies for his catapult and other items.

Page 37. " first invented the Flame-thrower "

A flamethrower is a weapon based on the form of a gun, but it shoots out burning liquid or flames. Eric’s flame-thrower was filled with petrol, which was ignited as it was poured out of a nozzle. Flame-throwers were one of the preferred weapons during the First World War.

Page 38. " playing ‘chicken’ with "

This refers to a game – a relatively dangerous one – where usually two participants stand-off against each other to see who gives up first. The game is sometimes played by a person who stands in the middle of the road and waits till the last minute before jumping out of the way of an approaching vehicle. Obviously, the sooner the person escapes, the more ‘chicken’ they are.

The video shows someone "playing chicken" with a train!

Page 39. " It was an adder. "

An Adder
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAn Adder
An adder is a small poisonous snake, the only venomous snake native to Britain and surrounds. This would explain why Blythe died so quickly. It is usually recognized by the diamond-shaped markings on its back.

Page 39. " came back to the Bunker "

The bunker is a shelter built specifically to house soldiers and guns. It is usually underground. Frank has obviously found the entrance, which would have been well concealed.

Page 41. " a couple of the Fleet Street rags "

Fleet Street is a street in London, popular for once being the residence of many newspapers’ offices. It is now used to refer to British journalism and journalists in general.

Google Map


Page 43. " My greatest enemies were Women "

Frank is obviously quite sexist. I suspect that he is this way both because his father harbours ill will towards his mother for leaving him, and Frank himself feels abandoned. I also think that this has something to do with the disgust Frank feels for women.

Here are some sexist advertisements for an idea of sexism against women.

Page 44. " the only bright thing about such abstinence "

Abstinence refers to the act of refusing yourself something that you enjoy. Many abstain from sexual contact, such as the Tibetan monks, and others abstain from alcohol or drugs. Frank obviously enjoys being clean, or he would not refer to this act as abstinence.

Page 44. " twin-blade swivel-heads "

Although currently this might seem old-fashioned, a twin-blade razor would have two razors, while the head would swivel according to the contours of one’s face. This razor is similar and is sold by Boots.

Page 44. " the shave follows a definite and predetermined pattern "

As with every other aspect of Frank’s life, everything is about patterns and ritual. It is possible that this could be a slight obsessive compulsive disorder with Frank, as a way to curb his anxiety about his situation, despite him claiming that he is perfectly happy.

"In OCD, the sufferer experiences intrusive thoughts (the obsessions) which are the source of anxiety. However, the anxiety can only be relieved by performing an often ritualistic act (the compulsion).  Common obsessions include germs or losing things. The compulsions for each of those may include washing for germs or arranging and grouping objects for losing things. However, the compulsion does not necessarily have to be logically related to the obsession. The only requirement is that, for whatever reason, it relieves the anxiety generated by the obsession". Click here for the source.

Page 45. " a walking advertisement "

Frank is referring to the brand name of some clothing. He believes that wearing the clothing made by people claiming branding of their product is an advertisement saying that he supports their product. Modern society is the epitome of Frank's "walking advertisement" opinion - a product has little value if it is not created or at the very least supported by a designer name or company. It is a major part of any marketing strategy.

Page 45. " think the Power was working then "

The “Power” is the force that Frank believes is working for him or against him. It is the same force that determines the death a Wasp chooses in the Factory, or whether the Sacrifice Poles protect him, and all other occurrences that take place during his life.

Page 46. " badminton shuttlecocks from the toyshop "

Badminton is a sport similar to tennis, in that it is played with a racquet and involves hitting a projectile over a net and between two halves of a rectangle. However, it is played indoors, and there is no ball: a “shuttlecock” (pictured) is used instead, which is a kind of light ball that is circled with feathers or some such replacement.

Page 46. " with a kamikaze rabbit "

Kamikaze” is used in reference to the manner in which Japanese soldiers attacked the enemy, particularly in the Second World War, knowing that they themselves will be killed. Their attacks were suicide attacks, and they were designed to destroy as many war ships as possible.

Page 48. " either side of the altar "

An example of an altar
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAn example of an altar
An altar is any structure upon which sacrifices or offerings are made for religious or other ceremonies. Frank's altar is dedicated to The Power that he believes in. It is covered in mementos from Frank’s life, including items from the murders that he committed and Old Saul’s skull. These are the items from which Frank gains and retains his power.

Page 50. " duck-calls within "

A duck-call is a sort of instrument hunters use to attract ducks to the area in which they are hoping to hunt.