How Teenage Psychology is Presented in the Novel 'Martyn Pig' by Kevin Brooks
Kevin Brooks is an English writer who published his first novel Martyn Pig in 2003. Born in 1959 Exeter, Devon, Brooks studied Psychology and Philosophy at Birmingham, Aston University. Later he attended Cultural Studies in London in 1983.
After getting his degree Kevin worked at odd jobs like , gasoline station attendant, crematorium handyman, civil service clerk, hot dog vendor at the London Zoo, post office clerk, and railway ticket office clerk. These varied jobs and his education with psychology as major has equipped him to write about psychological aspects of his characters.
Kevin Brooks in his novel Martyn Pig explores the psychology of a teenager who is feels his life cannot get worse. To start with the boy is named Martyn Pig, which by itself makes him feel bad
Brooks relates that Martyn’s life is miserable. The boy has lost his mother and his father hates him. Things go from bad to worse when his father dies in an accident and Martyn is face to face with a dilemma. He has the choice to go and stay with his Aunt Jean or he can do something different and live his own life,
Kevin also relates that Martyn is mad about his neighbour, Alex a young smart girl. The fact that she is dating another boy is another source of tension for him. He persuades Alex to help him dispose of his father’s body. This act with Alex leads to more twists, turns and deception. Alex is the most complicated character in the book. She has her own plan for the money. In this Kevin explores the mind of a teenager and dreams of money.
Brooks relates Martyn’s philosophy of life. He goes deep into the mind of the boy as Martyn tells the reader his concept of dreams. He feels demons are there but are created by the mind itself.
Psychologists agree with Martyn’s interpretation of dreams as they often help them understand people. It's interesting that Martyn only talks about demons in dreams. He does not relate dreams to good things like wish fulfilment or happy visions. He leads a solitary life and feels a person cannot trust others. This again brings forth the psychology of a teenager conditioned by unhappiness.
Martyn believes that a person can change his circumstances, in case he has money. He feels money will help him and Alex live happily. This shows the simplistic approach to life in a teenagers mind. The entire story and life of Martyn’s is colored by his love of mystery novels and television shows. This is again the ingredients that mould the mind of a teenager. This is the psychology of a teenager which zeroes on short term goals.
Right from childhood, Kevin Brooks was fond of reading detective novels. This interest is translated to his books .Most of the plots of his books revolve around crime fiction. His books have elements of mystery and suspense which help shape the theme of his novels. He has won the Angus Book Award and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in Literature, Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and Edgar Award for Best Young Adult. He resides in London.