What would be the overall purpose of the novel, About a Boy?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the fundamental purpose of Hornby's work is to provide another dimension to the examination of the media driven youth culture in London of the mid- 1990s.  Hornby seems to be trying to construct a narrative in which media trends and realities are a distinct part.  In doing so, he wishes to present how individuals act in this setting as well as his own statement about culture of the time period.  consider the presence of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana throughout the novel and how it influences the characters in it as an example of the relevance of media in people's lives.  Hornby seems fairly deliberate in seeking to bring this dynamic out throughout the novel.  This becomes his fundamental purpose in constructing the novel in the manner he does.  Hornby is fascinated with developing the idea of how culture impacts his characters and how they are reflective of this culture.  It enables Hornby to both play artist and social scientist in one fell swoop.  To this end, I would say that this becomes a critical purpose in the construction of the novel.

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