The Creation of a Child Murderer in Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory


International Play and Toy Congress/Uluslararası Oyun ve Oyuncak Kongresii, Erzurum, Turkey, 7 - 08 May 2015, pp.1283-1286

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Erzurum
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1283-1286
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


The Creation of a Child Murderer in Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory

Okutman Yıldırım ÖZSEVGEÇ

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Üniversitesi Yabancı Diller Yüksek Okulu



The toy genre should be different from toy books. The term “toy book” is used in different ways. However, the genre of toy books is not mainly dealt with the book’s physical appearance, but rather its subject matter. Sometimes toys represent the powerless situation of children. Like toys who are controlled by their owners, children are at the mercy of adults who manage and direct their lives (Bettleheim, 1996:15).

Iain Banks was a Scottish author and he wrote science fiction, including the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies. He used oppressed child profile in his well-known novel The Wasp Factory (1984). Frank Cauldhame, the sixteen-year-old child, is the narrator of the novel. Unlike normal fathers, Angus educates Frank at home, he is able to construct/manipulate his/her understanding of the world and the body she/he inhabits. So Frank invented a toy and named it as “Wasp Factory” to play and spent time in the strangely personal ritualistic killing of animals and magnificent pleasures of seeking prophecies from his Wasp Factory. This was a kind of mechanism which has many pathways the wasp can make its way through, but at the end the death is inevitable. This game of killing animals seemed innocent to Frank at first, then he started to choose children for his psychological experiment and these rituals that he invented lead three different deaths within his family by himself.  So, this paper not only elaborates on how Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory creates a murderer from a child who is controlled by his father, but also the unexpected result of the plays and toy is explained.