Life as a teenager is in many cases significantly challenging. You make mistakes and decisions that often have serious consequences, or at least have implications for the rest of your life. In his novel, “SLAM”
Nick Hornby invites into the main character's teenage life through the perspective of a young boy who faces several challenges including his girlfriend’s early pregnancy.
Teenage issues, love, identity, and early pregnancy are obvious themes of the story. This helps to make the book sinlessly honest, and it focuses on detabuting life's challenges.
Consequently, the focus of this analytical essay will be on the setting, characters, themes, and message.
This leads on to Alicia, the mother of Sam’s child. Alicia is a beautiful teenager, who wants to become a model until she gets knocked up. Even though Alicia has the looks and a great body, she has an attitude.
She is forced to push her teenage years into adulthood all because of one decision. Alicia is very mature and decisive, because no matter what she chooses to do with the pregnancy, her life will be affected.
She knows abortion is not the right choice for her. Even though Alicia seems mature sometimes, she can also sound immature, because she still is a 16-year-old girl.
An example of this, “You can forget all about seeing Roof […] I’m not letting you near him” (page...) In this quotation, Alicia gets into a fight with Sam, and therefore she forbids Sam to see Rufus.
Even though the situation gets resolved, Alicia deals with the argument in a juvenile way. The reader gets a glimpse of her acting selfishly, which reminds us that she’s still trying to figure everything out.
Furthermore, the characterization of Alicia is social, because Sam is related to Alicia now that she is the mother of his child.
Lastly, Sam’s mom is hard working, loving and laid back. She wants Sam to succeed in life and have opportunities that she did not get, because she got pregnant when she was sixteen.
“She’s caught up, more or less, on all the things she missed because of me. You could even argue that she’s overtaken herself.
She wasn’t any great shake at school, she says, but she was so unhappy about not finishing her education that she pushed herself twice as hard as she would have done.” (page...)
In this example, Sam explains how his mother have experienced difficulties now that she got pregnant at such a young age. She is so attentive on making sure Sam takes care of himself and heads to college.
When Alicia gets pregnant, she blames herself, because the same thing happened to her. But luckily, when she gets pregnant again, she comes around.
The family might look different from the outside, but there are a lot of love, regardless of the age differences. Furthermore, the characterization of Sam’s mother is social because there is a familial relation.
The story takes place in London, which explains the language the different characters use. For instance, Sam says “mum” instead of “mom” and he also uses “bloody hell” in his sentences sometimes.
These terms are only used by people from England, and therefore the stetting takes place in England. Furthermore, Sam lives with his mother and her boyfriend presumably in a small house in London.
Therefore, it is assumed that the social class is right below the middle class. The setting changes when Sam runs away to Hastings, a small town outside of London. “[…] but all skate stuff was going to have to wait until I was set up in Hastings with a job and a flat and all that” (page 110).