How does Robert Swindells use language to affect the reader's response to Link and Shelter in 'Stone Cold'?Swindells uses language to affect the reader's response in a variety of ways: the reader begins to align themselves with Link; the reader gets anxious about Shelter's next move; the reader begins to empathise with Link; the reader sees Shelter as desceptive.
Swindells language in the first page makes the reader start to align themselves with Link. Link talks directly to the reader and says things like "YOU can call me Link" and "hang about and ill tell YOU the story of my life" The personal pronoun 'you' makes it talks directly to the reader which makes the reader act as equals and friends with Link. This helps the reader align themselves and helps them to feel as though they can act as though they actually know Link. He uses this technique throughout the book which means that you can always relate to Link.
Swindells language during the whole of Shelters part of the story makes the reader anxious about Shelters next move. On page 22-24 he is being really nice to a homeless stranger, takes him to his house, gives him warm soup and then "puts him out of his misery". He also says "nobody wanted him so nobody will miss him" This makes the reader worry about Link as he regards a humans life as close to nothing. He clearly isn't going to stop killing these people as the last man was innocent so he will just keep killing. The reader then gets scared for Link's life as they have already aligned themselves with link and almost made friends with him. Swindells emphasizes this later in the story by Shelter going on to kill another person in the same way and having no guilt. He also goes on to see Link and his friend and says "I never forget a face"
Swindells language makes you empathize for Link during the whole book however this is used most clearly in the first chapter. The whole chapter is about how horrible Vince is and he says things like "one night I'd been at my friends and he locked me out, its not even his house but he wouldn't let mum open it." This makes you put yourself in his shoes o see how bad it must have felt from Link's point of view, furthermore he had some weird old man coming into his house and trying to make the rules which are completely unfair against Link. It makes the reader feel Link's emotions which are all very strong. This is then emphasized by saying "Vince slapped me for worrying Mum" This makes the reader know how awful Vince is and how much Link hates him.
Swindells language makes us portray Shelter as desceptive. This technique is used in all his part of the book but mainly shown on page 16: "I have acquired a cat... there's something reassuring in about a home with a cat... a feller with a cat called Sappho is going to create an image, kind and academic." In this statement he is getting a cat just to make his victims think his house is nice and think that he is a nice person when really he is just mentally disturbed. Another example of this is where he is treating another homeless person really kindly and you believe that he is genuinely a warm hearted person and then he suddenly "puts him out of his misery". He then acts as though he has done nothing wrong or even done a good thing, previous to him saying this you believe that hes was being nice and so quickly your opinion of him changes completely. The reader then doesn't know what to believe about him from then on.
Evidently Swindells uses a variety of different techniques throughout the book but despite these all being very effective useage of language I think that the most important use is the title. It refers to Link sleeping rough in the cold winter on the stone floor and alternatively it refers to Shelter being a stone cold killer.