Lesson 36 - Stone Cold - Daily Routine Orders 1-5

By: Robert Swindells
 You
will learn about the major themes that
are covered in this novel: Survival and
Class and Social Structure
 To understand the main events that have led
to the conclusion of the novel:
• You will come to learn of the plot developments
between Daily Routine 1-5
• You will come across the significance of various
important quotes
 You
will also have to complete the following
• Write a letter from the perspective of the Nurse on
the situation that has unfolded
• Test on its significance
There are 2 plots running at the same time, that of
Shelter’s and Link’s
• Both characters think that they are victims of misfortune that
has befallen upon them
• Both of them choose a different name to be referred to
The novel deals with the themes of: A) Survival and B)
Class and Social Structure
The novel is written in modern prose and is written in
first person
He is a young man who chose to live on the
streets of London
He finds himself on the streets of London due
to difficulties within his family
He criticizes society’s lack of care for the
He is a 47 year old man who has recently lost
his job at the National Service (Military)
He feels that he has been wronged by the
government and so he currently has a lot of
resentment against them and the homeless
His nickname will prove to be ironic to the
readers, since he provides anything but
shelter to his victims
Link, who is the novel’s protagonist introduces himself to the
readers as. ‘One of the invisible people.’ (p.1)
Theme: Link discusses the lack of care that society affords
to the homeless people
• This is an issue which will come to dominate the novel
Link tells the readers of the events that left him with little
alternative but to make himself homeless
The happy family life that he had enjoyed until his teenage
years was shattered when, ‘Dad ran off with his receptionist
Although this devastates Link, he manages to cope with the loss of his
He does not dwell on the reasons for his father’s departure, and does not
blame him for the events that follow
 E.g. That’s not why I ended up like this
His mother has then fallen in love with a man whom he hates
called Vince
Vince causes Link’s sister, Carole to move out with her
This causes Link to be all alone, as his sister has now gone and his mother
has changed
Link clearly dislikes Vince for the following reasons:
He blames him for having ruined his chances of a normal
He wants Link to call him, “dad”  He hates that
 Vince is not a father figure, and Link vows that even if ‘he was the last guy
on Earth […] I wouldn’t call that fat pillock Dad.’ (p.4)
He is offended by comments that he makes about his mother
He changes the behaviour of Link’s mother
He gets into a fire with his sister, Carole causing her to leave
Link watches his family disintegrate before his own
 Before long, the verbal abuse that Link suffers at the
hands of his abusive step–father is replaced by
physical abuse
 Link is locked out of the house, and then receives a
‘slapping […] around the head’ on his return
• Consequence: Believing that the only option is to leave, Link
makes himself homeless
 Link
talks of how uncomfortable his situation
is and of the embarrassment of meeting
someone who recognises him, whilst you
are begging for money
 Quote: ‘You’re going to be at risk every
minute, day and night,’
• Significance: Apart from the obvious physical
difficulties, Link mentions the other dangers that are
very real to those who live on the streets
• E.g. 1: There are crazy guys on the street who will
knife the homeless
• E.g. 2: Some will try to enter into the sleeping bag of
the homeless
The readers come to discover the reasons behind
Shelter’s anger and resentment:
He has been unfairly discharged from his job at the National
Service (Military) for 29 years
 Reason: Medical grounds
He believes the state is in on a secret mission of clogging the
country with:
A. Dossers (Homeless)
B. Junkies (Inactive and overweight citizens)
C. Drunks (Alcoholics)
This goes against his mission, of wanting to train fit and well-off
citizens This as a result leads to his resentment
He believes that the state does not appreciate his hard work
and service and wants to destroy the country
As a result, Shelter has a plan of his own:
Foreshadow: “But I can clean up the garbage, can’t I? They
can’t stop me doing that, and I will. By golly I will” (Pg. 12)
This tells the reader that he may have something evil and unethical
This also builds a sense of suspense amongst the readers
Link begins to feel depressed, as he knows that he is
unemployable in his present state
 Although Link returns to his sister’s house for
Christmas, it is far from the happy place that it should
 His mother and sister put together to buy him a new
sleeping bag as a Christmas present
 Link feels increasingly alienated from his family:
Vince keeps calling him a ‘disgrace,’ ‘a scrounger,’ and a ‘lay
about’ who ought to be ‘looking for work.’
Vince refers to him as the ghost of Christmas in front of
No one bothers to defends Link when Vince insults him
On returning to the streets, Link is pestered by a
‘stinky old ciderhead.’
• To get rid of him, Link gives him twenty pence for him to go
Shelter adopts a cat which he calls Sappho. The cat
manages to provide him with:
Possible protection
Shelter believes that the 2 of them would make good
company and should be referred to as, “The Invincibles”
Link travels to London and with the money he has
left, he books into a B&B
• They required: A) A Suit working Man and B) Rent would be
He is optimistic that the future in London is brighter
• Quote: “You ‘can invent your own past and call yourself
anything you choose,‘
Link imagines that he will be able to find work
• This is short-lived, as he realizes that he has two weeks to find
employment, otherwise he’ll be out on the streets again
• His landlord turns out to be: A) Rude and B) Unsympathetic
Shelter trawls the streets of London in order to go
ahead with his plan by picking up ‘recruits.’
• He tells them that he ‘runs a hostel on Plender Street.’
Quote: ‘Part of my preparation […] Brilliant touch.’ he
• Significance: Shelter seems pleased that he has little difficulty
in persuading these desperate homeless people to accompany
him back to his lodgings
The real danger that Shelter poses is revealed when:
He informs the readers that he has killed a dosser
 E.g.: ’I slipped up behind him and put him out of his misery.’
He has a lack of remorse for the killing
He speaks as if he has done the stranger a favour by putting
him out of his misery
 E.g.: ‘Cruel? I don’t think so. He’s neither cold nor hungry now,’ he tells us
He justifies the murder by claiming ‘there’s one less dosser
to clutter up the place.’
 This is his ultimate mission
Link’s landlord comes to collect the rent 3 days early.
As a result, he tells him that:
Link cannot afford to pay at the moment
He is waiting to by financially assisted by the DSS
He’s been looking for work
He is quiet and has kept the room tidy
After grabbing Link by the shirt and demanding
immediate payment, Link knows that he must move
 Quote: “I’ll have you for this. Sooner or later, one way
or another Ill have you.”
• Significance: Link believes that fate will have its way and take
its revenge against the landlord
Realising that things have not worked out as he had
planned, Link’s dejection is evident as he
contemplates his situation
He finds himself, ‘poised at the top of that downward spiral.’
He finds himself with the homeless kids he would have
previously given change to

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