when the wasps drowned claire wigfall l.
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When The Wasps Drowned Claire Wigfall. Plot. Characters: Mum Eveline Therese Tyler. There is no sign of a dad present The mum seems to be at work a lot They find a dead body

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  • Mum
  • Eveline
  • Therese
  • Tyler
  • There is no sign of a dad present
  • The mum seems to be at work a lot
  • They find a dead body
  • Eveline acts grown up as she is the maternal figure to her younger siblings when her mother is at work but still has elements of being innocent
  • Growing up
  • Dysfunctional family
  • Responsibility: transferred from mother to daughter as she is often absent.
  • Death
  • Transition from young girl to grown up, she still has glimmers of innocence and naivety.


It seems that Eveline has had to grow up when she is still only a child. As her mum is single, she needs help to look after the younger ones and Eveline has had to take on that responsibility. Although she has had to act more responsible she still has that innocent side to her that you would expect a young girl to have.

Also as this is written in first person, it’s from a memory of Eveline’s, so this event must have had a big effect on her life and is something that she still remembers.


At the beginning you get this idea that she is very distant from her children as when she comes home from work she just puts her feet up and Eveline cooks the dinner. Although, as the story goes on, the younger sibling goes to her at night, so it shows that the children feel as if they can talk to her, so actually they are close. Although, there is still the idea of the distance because the mum always seems to be working and in a way lacks responsibility over her children.

She has a lot of trust in her older daughter Eveline because she allows her to stay at home and looks after the younger children.

As there is no sign of a dad you get the idea that she is a single mum and struggles as she has to do everything on her own.


Therese and Tyler:

These two are like any other young children. They play in the garden and just want to have fun. They are also very dependent on their older sister Eveline (line 109 ‘Therese and Tyler were both clinging to my bare legs) , they seem to have a lot of trust in her and rely on her making sure that they are ok.


Key Messages:

  • Children want to grow up faster – in the story Eveline has had this pressure to grow up from her mum so that she can help look after her younger but siblings, but Eveline always wants to act grown up. As when she is in the park and she is looking at the boys and then when she makes her own bikini so she can look older. Although, as Eveline makes her own Bikini it also shows that she is still only a child but still wants to act older.
  • Single Parenting - this is another message which is in the story because it shows how hard it is for parents who are single, as it really hard to bring up and look after young children if you are on your own, and quite a lot of parents now are single and bringing up their children on their own with no help.
  • Responsibility and trust– throughout the story it seems to have this message of how much responsibility you need to have if you are going to have children or even look after them. The mum has a lot of trust in Eveline because she is only young but still has to look after her younger siblings.
literary devices
Literary Devices
  • Metaphors
  • Dialogue
  • Foreshadowing: wasps – drowning, Therese – screaming, violence, shows impending trouble
  • Continued reference to red – swathes of scarlet food colouring, smartie red lips
  • Sensory descriptions (heat and touch)
  • Ambiguous ending: there is no definite ending.