In the story “Stone Cold” Shelter is an interesting character because of his military background and the fact that he was dismissed from the army. I also think he is interesting because of his cunning attitude, his views about homeless people and his actions which show how deranged he is.
One of the reasons I think makes Shelter an interesting character is through his military background. He frequently uses words that are used in the army and that shows that he is very attached to the army, “Naturally, I’ve arranged them the Army way – tallest on the left shortest on the right and they look quite smart – especially now that I’ve cut their hair.” His military background also shows that he is really attached to the Army and that most of the things he does has a military connection. “I took the tube down to Charing Cross and walked about a bit. Tour of inspection, you might say.”
Another reason I think Shelter is an interesting character is the fact that he was dismissed from the army. He thinks he is capable of doing anything and he also thinks that he was dismissed because they thought their plan to undermine the city with homeless people would be better if they removed one of their main obstacles. “They chucked me out because their mission in life is exactly the opposite of mine”, “….. to undermine the country by clogging it up with dossers and junkies and drunks.”
Another reason I think Shelter is interesting is by his cunning nature. The way he pretends to be a caring person and adopts a cat, “A cat speaks of warmth, comfort, placid domesticity. A man who keeps a cat can’t possibly mean anybody any harm can he?” This shows how Shelter appears to be something he is not and it also creates irony and humour. “Could be a series on the telly, couldn’t it? Shelter and Sappho otherwise known as The Invincibles.”
I also find Shelter interesting because of his views about homeless people, which were influenced by his military background. “Hundreds of scruffy blighters, lying around making the place look manky.” This quote shows that Shelter’s views to homeless people are pitiless, less – caring and thinking that homeless people are like rubbish scattered everywhere. Shelter thinks that by turning homeless people into soldiers he has accomplished a great mission, “And that was my mission in life – to turn dirty, scruffy, pimply youths into soldiers. Into men. And I did it, too. Year after year.”
The last point I would like to make about why Shelter is an interesting character is by his actions which reflect his deranged character. “He was yelling at his lads to stand and fight as the coppers dragged him out.” This shows that Shelter is a deranged character but it also shows he has been to long in the army.
I think Shelter is an interesting character because of how deranged he is because of his engrossment in the army and that he was brainwashed into doing things the Army way during and after his long service in the army. I also thinks that he is interesting because of the language he uses which reveals how much he is attached to the army, “Laughing Boy One. That was the code name of the exercise. It was meticulously planned and beautifully executed, and now it’s time for de-briefing.”