Frank refers to them on page 10 as "totems", which are entities or objects that keep watch over and give assistance a group of people. The definition states that a totem supports only large groups of people, so in this essence, the word is not correct. However, in modern times, an individual can choose an animal helper that has personal significance to them, and this is referred to as their totem. Frank seems to employ various animals as his totems.
This is an interesting observation, once you consider the implication this body language has on giving the reader clues as to the true gender of Frank:
"women do something known as “leg twining”, in which they will sit on one leg which will be pointed backward underneath them. The reason women can do this is largely due to the width of their pelvus, which is much wider than a males due to childbearing".
A flagstone is a kind of flat stone that is usually used for paving stones. The rock is a form of sandstone, which would explain why the sound of Frank's father's stick is quieted.
The sacrifice poles are Frank’s doing – they are poles standing on the perimeter of his territory, upon which he places the heads of various animals, which he has obviously sacrificed. He later refers to the poles as his “totems”, which are animals or other natural objects that used for protection and ritual purposes, or to symbolise a clan or family. The Sacrifice Poles are the first items we come across that show Frank’s love for and belief in ritual.
A sanctuary is a place where one can go where one is certain of one’s solitude and safety. The attic is a place of isolation for Frank, as his father cannot go there due to his leg injury. This has made it Frank's, and the Factory’s, sanctuary, as it is a place it can remain without being discovered.
Colon cancer is more aptly termed colorectal cancer, and usually arises from polyps in the colon. Polyps are fleshy growths that if left untreated can develop into cancer of the colon.
Frank spent his days in leisure, and one of this pastimes included creating imaginary wars between factions of items - in this case the opponents were dead flies and mussels, while further on in the novel, used aerosol cans from the dump formed one of the factions.
Imperial measurements came into use after 1824, and were used in the British Empire and countries that were under Britain's influence at the time. The system included units such as feet, cables and perches.
For examples of the hippy culture:
Good films about musketeers include: The Musketeer (2001) starring Justin Chambers and Tim Roth; and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, John Malcovich, Gérard Depardieu and Jeremy Irons.
In this reference, Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare. It is set in Denmark, and recounts how Prince Hamlet takes revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering Hamlet's father and taking his mother Gertrude as his wife. The play is a vivid discourse of real and pretend madness. It is also an exploration of treachery, incest, moral corruption and revenge.
This thought of Frank’s is definitely defined and clarified later in the novel – his father’s experiments with hormones clearly points to his history as a biochemist, that is, someone who studies the chemical structure of living things.
For those not of British origin, the National Health Service or NHS is a public service that provides medical care for citizens. Expenses are paid with the use of taxes paid by the country’s citizens.
A transcendental number is a number, that could be complex, but which is not algebraic and is also irrational. This means that the number cannot be a solution of a mathematical formula that features addition, subtraction and multiplication with rational or whole numbers in the calculations. Transcendental numbers cannot be represented as a formula, and instead are represented by symbols. Pi is a good example of this, as it is not the solution of any calculation, and is also not a whole number. In decimal terms, it is represented as 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288... and in symbolic terms π. It is difficult to understand this term if you don't have a mathematical background as it is!
An integer is a "whole" number that is formed by natural numbers, such as 0, 1 and 2, and also includes the negatives of these numbers (-1 and -2). They are numbers that can be written without any other components, such as fractions (such as 1½) and decimals (such as 3.14) are.
The North Sea is situated between the United Kingdom and Europe. It is bound to the west by the Orkney Islands, England and Scotland, and to the east by northern Europe. It has a mean depth of 90 metres.
There is a massive pollution problem in the North Sea, with more than 20 000 tonnes of marine litter dumped into it every year. Visit the Save the North Sea Project for more.
Have a listen to the sounds of the North Sea from Belgium here.
The Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church. Its identity is principally shaped by the Scottish Reformation, which saw the Church split its ties from the papacy of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. The Church's website says that it has over 600 000 members. Love and worship of God through the teachings of Jesus Christ is central to the Church's faith and worship. The Church of Scotland is popularly known as The Kirk.
A spire is a conical or pyramidal structure that is located on the top of a building. It is most often used for churches, and is often the home to bells, crosses or wind vanes.