The settings in ‘I’m the King of the castle’ beautifully portrays on how the character feels and thinks, she does this by having lucid themes that show emotions of the characters reflecting onto the theme. This means the reader can feel the atmosphere seemingly throughout the novel. In the novel there is one main theme of which is based around hatred between hooper and Kingshaw. straight from the start of when they meet hooper makes sure to let his feelings be shown. so throughout the novel Kingshaw and hooper are continuously battling each other, hooper immediately takes the role of being a bully.
At Waring’s house the setting shows that it isn’t a very pleasant place to stay in, the house lacks the warmth and homeliness of a proper home. “Warings was ugly. It was entirely graceless, rather tall and badly angled, built of dark red brick. At the front, and on both sides, there was the lawn, sloping downwards to a graveled drive, and then into the lane, and without any tree or flower-bed to relieve the bald greenness. ”the house being made of “dark red bricks” contributes a very imposing, blood colour. The house was always comfortless and it looked graceless and boring this made Kingshaw feel as he was not at home.
The room in which he had stayed in always had a presence of death due to the gloomy and morbid atmosphere. He lacked the love he desired and was left with the dreadful feeling of isolation in his own mind. The house built badly can contribute to the novel that no care was given into building the house including no love, this could reflect on hooper who stayed in the house which was only exposed to death and power. Kingshaw plays the role of a very weak character that is locked in his imagination. he has irrational fears.
although this might be normal for most children, his fears are so crippling they are far beyond the typical childish nightmare as one of the examples are fears of swimming pools. early in the book Kingshaw is taken to a pool by his father he feared the water exceptionally, not only because he couldn’t swim but, also because of its “glassy, artificial blueness” and he also feared how people looked huge, pale swolen underneath. another fear that kingshaw has is the fear of dead thing like crows, he describes them as having “ragged black wings” and “small, glinty eyes”.
Kingshaw would constantly get his fears exploited by hopper during the novel. one example of this is when he brings kingshaw to the Red Room to show him the moths, it seems that hooper just wants to show off. but her immediately recognises that Kingshaw is afraid when, upon him seeing the moths, kingshaw “drew in his breath sharply”. Hooper realises this then mocks him and tries to order him to touch one. Kingshaw tries really hard not to touch it but hopper watches him and runs out of the room, locking the door behind him.
another example of hoopers cold-blooded actions is when his guest, Kingshaw arrives he immediately tries to make Kingshaw feel unwelcome even before Kingshaw gets through the front door by throwing a lump of plasticine that reads” I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO COME HERE”. At one point kingshaw decided to explore around the surroundings but on his way back a hovering crow attacks him hooper then finds out kingshaws fears of dead things, later on hooper takes a stuffed crow and attempts to scare kingshaw, Kingshaw knew “the crow was not real, that it was stuffed and dead.” there are alot of dead things around the house this made Kingshaw feel even more miserable.
After a while in the novel the writer has shown us how much Kingshaw disliked Warring’s, and how it was so unbearable for Kingshaw to stay there, he soon decided to pursuit his miseries and hopefully fine what he has longed for which was freedom, he sets out but then is stopped when he is attacked by a crow. he is in shock and frightened and has no idea what will happen next but still continues to go.
He thinks he is free and starts to enjoy his freedom “Kingshaw didn’t look back” this shows how convinced he is about escaping from hopper and his mischievous. Hangwood is where Kingshaw escaped to he enjoyed it there due to the feeling that he was completely hidden and everything around him seemed innocent and pure. when Kingshaw had first stepped into the forest it looked dark and gloomy he was scared and thought of the forest as a threatening place.
When he finally makes his escape the first thig he sees is the dead rabbit this is a foreshadow of his death in the future. Kingshaw soon becomes obsessed with the river and doesn’t want to leave all of this foreshadows kingshaws death. Symbolism is a key method of writing that susan hill uses. this helps us to have a more deeper understanding of the novel and portrays power and the ability to unlock darker parts of their personality. for example when Kingshaw saw the “yew trees” it would symbolise death because yew trees are usually found in cemeteries
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