Stig of the Dump is a classic children's novel. This article explores all the concepts, themes and features included in the story.
It was written by Clive King and published in 1963.
It is regarded as a modern children's classic and is often read in schools. It has been adapted for television on two occasions: Firstly by
Thames Television for ITV in 1981, and secondly by the BBC in 2002. The BBC series, starring Thomas Sangster, of Love Actually, won the BAFTA Children's Film and Television Award and its writer, Peter Tabern, also received the Best Children's Writer award. The series was tremendously successful and has since been released on DVD. The book was adapted for the theatre in 2006, and has been subject of great critical acclaim. Since its first publication, almost fifty years ago, the book has continually grasped children’s imaginations and become a book shelf favourite.
The story is fast-paced and exciting, and told with great humour and wild imagination.
A definite must-read for every child and young at heart.
Plot outline The Stig of the title is a caveman who lives at the bottom of an old quarry.
This quarry is close to young boy called Barney's grandmother's house.
The quarry is no longer in use and is now used as a place where people throw all of their rubbish away. Barney accidentally finds Stig one day when he falls through the roof of Stig’s den.
Even though they can’t talk to each other, Barney and Stig become good friends. They have many great adventures together, including catching burglars who try to break into Barney's grandmother's house. Barney and Stig spend many long and wonderful hours together, but the greatest adventure of all takes place one Midsummer Night, when Barney and his sister Lou find themselves transported back in time to thousands of years ago, where they spend a night helping his tribe complete a megalith.
The book is often said to be intentionally ambiguous as to whether Stig is real being or just a figment of young Barney's imagination.
However, as he is seen by and interacts with people other than Barney in chapters five, seven and eight, it's hard to justify the argument that Barney has imagined him.