The Wasp Factory

by

Iain Banks

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The Bunker Term Analysis

An old concrete pillbox guard post, which formerly housed a machine gun. Frank has repaired the rusted door and converted it into a kind of shrine. Inside, he has filled it with candles and the skull of Old Saul. This is a safe and sacred space for Frank, and he often retreats here in times of chaos or confusion.

The Bunker Quotes in The Wasp Factory

The The Wasp Factory quotes below are all either spoken by The Bunker or refer to The Bunker. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ritual and Superstition  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Wasp Factory published in 1998.
Chapter 1 Quotes

‘I hope you weren’t out killing any of God’s creatures.’

I shrugged at him again. Of course I was out killing things. How the hell am I supposed to get heads and bodies for the Poles and the Bunker if I don’t kill things? There just aren’t enough natural deaths. You can’t explain that sort of thing to people, though.

‘Sometimes I think you’re the one who should be in the hospital, not Eric.’ He was looking at me from under his dark brows, his voice low. Once, that sort of talk would have scared me, but not now. I’m nearly seventeen, and not a child. Here in Scotland I’m old enough to get married without my parent’s permission, and have been for a year. There wouldn’t be much point to me getting married perhaps — I’ll admit that — but the principle is there.

Besides, I’m not Eric; I’m me and I’m here and that’s all there is to it. I don’t bother people and they had best not bother me if they know what’s good for them. I don’t go giving people presents of burning dogs, or frighten the local toddlers with handfuls of maggots and mouthfuls of worms. The people in the town may say ‘Oh, he’s not all there, you know,’ but that’s just their little joke (and sometimes, to rub it in, they don’t point to their heads as they say it); I don’t mind. I’ve learned to live with my disability, and learned to live without other people, so it’s no skin off my nose.

Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

I thought again of the Sacrifice Poles; more deliberately this time, picturing each one in turn, remembering their positions and their components, seeing in my mind what those sightless eyes looked out to, and flickering through each view like a security guard changing cameras on a monitor screen. I felt nothing amiss; all seemed well. My dead sentries, those extensions of me which came under my power through the simple but ultimate surrender of death, sensed nothing to harm me or the island.

I opened my eyes and put the bedside light back on. I looked at myself in the mirror on the dressing-table over on the other side of the room. I was lying on top of the bed-covers, naked apart from my underpants.

I’m too fat. It isn’t that bad, and it isn’t my fault – but, all the same, I don’t like the way I’d like to look. Chubby, that’s me. Strong and fit, but still too plump. I want to look dark and menacing; the way I ought to look, the way I should look, the way I might have looked if I hadn’t had my little accident. Looking at me, you’d never guess I’d killed three people. It isn’t fair.

Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Bunker Term Timeline in The Wasp Factory

The timeline below shows where the term The Bunker appears in The Wasp Factory. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Sacrifice Poles
Ritual and Superstition  Theme Icon
Control, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Sanity and Insanity  Theme Icon
...kill animals, because how else is he supposed to get bodies for “the Poles and the Bunker if I don’t kill things?” (full context)
Chapter 3: In the Bunker
Ritual and Superstition  Theme Icon
Frank visits the Bunker . The Bunker is an old concrete pillbox guard post, which formerly housed a machine... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Skull Grounds
Ritual and Superstition  Theme Icon
Control, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Sexism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...“my old enemy in my power.” He excavated Old Saul’s skull and put it in the Bunker , surrounded by “heavy magic” and “important things.” (full context)
Chapter 8: The Wasp Factory
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Sanity and Insanity  Theme Icon
In the Bunker , Frank thinks of Eric. He remembers who he was as a child — once “clever”... (full context)