• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'A Kestrel for a Knave' - Barry Hines.

Extracts from this document...


'A Kestrel for a Knave' - Barry Hines. 'A kestrel for a knave' is set in the 1960's in a medium sized town similar to Barnsley in Yorkshire. Schools at this time where split into two-tier. At 11 pupils had to take an exam to determine whether they would go to a secondary modern school or a grammar school. In the football scene the teacher Mr. Sugden bullies Billy because he cannot play football. Mr. Sugden is a PE teacher at a local secondary modern school. Mr. Sugden's appearance is very neat and tidy. In the football scene Sugden was dressed in a ' violet tracksuit'. 'The top was embellished with cloth badges'. Sugden is very violent towards his pupils especially Billy. 'Mr. Sugden bounced the ball on Billy's head compressing his neck into his shoulders'. Mr. Sugden takes four main parts in this scene. Sugden taking these parts shows he is in control throughout the scene. Sugden is very aggressive throughout the football scene. ...read more.


In Sugdens eyes Billy is only there to be taught by him and to learn. Billy refers to Sugden as 'sir' because he is made to respect him because Sugden is a teacher and Billy is a pupil. Sugden uses long and complicated words when he is talking to his class. Words such as 'stimulating' are used by Mr. Sugden. These difficult words are a trap set by Sugden to confuse Billy and make him look a fool in front of the class. Sugdens patronizing ways toward Billy are very recognizable in the way that Sugden always alls Billy 'lad' and 'fool'. Barry Hines the writer adds brackets to the different roles Sugden plays, for example (teacher) or (player) to show how important and how much control Mr. Sugden has over the game. 'Billy like a brave little clown'. Language like this shows Billy as a brave dreamer who knows how to laugh at himself and not feel upset by his friends. The use of similes helps to show that Billy is a dreamer and is never going to fit into this sort of school. ...read more.


The work of the people that live in the town was treacherous. This particular novel is based around a Victorian school. Schools of this period were extremely bad and teachers would not think twice about using violence on his/her pupils. The teacher in this novel Mr. Thomas Gradgrind is know exception. Mr. Gradgrind believes in teaching children in his class's pure facts and nothing else. 'Now what I want is facts'. 'Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts'. 'Facts alone are wanted in life'. Gradgrind is also a man of very harsh realities and 'proceeds upon the principle that two and two are for and nothing else'. In this extract, we see Mr. Gradgrind advising a student teacher on how to teach a class. Gradgrind (the speaker) is described as square and stubborn. 'The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base'. Gradgrind is also said to have a 'wide, thin and hard set' mouth. His head is described as a 'warehouse-room for hard facts stored inside'. Mr. Gradgrind like any teacher has his favorite pupils. Gradgrinds favorites are usually pupils who are bright and intelligent. Gradgrind doesn't like children as a rule. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Barry Hines section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Barry Hines essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Kestrel For A Knave.

    3 star(s)

    It is on the fields where you get an insite to the talents that Billy Casper has. He trains his hawk with enthusiasm and enjoys seeing her spread her wings and sore through the air. Later on in the book, Jud gave Billy some money to bet on the horses.

  2. Comparisons between A Kestrel For A Knave and David Copperfield.

    This feeling is confirmed when he first converses with Billy, "Stimulating you fool, s-t-i-m-i-l-a-t-i-n-g, stimulating!" He misspells stimulating. Most of the passage involving Sugden is written comically, one of the boys is even known by the name, "spotty crew cut," which sounds like a cartoon character from the "Bash Street Kids."

  1. How does Billy's tall story in "A Kestrel For A Knave" and "The Poor ...

    Billy's Tall Story begins with his mother bringing him breakfast in bed. He has bacon and egg and bread and a 'big pot of tea'. But in actual fact Billy doesn't get much breakfast at home, for this reason he has to steal and evade, even his own brother: -

  2. Kes affected Billy's life in many ways, for good and for bad

    Not only does he fall asleep during lessons and not bother to get any kit, but he also arrives late to his lessons, as this complaint from Mr Sugden shows; "Get changed lad. You're already two weeks late." Billy was late for P.E even though he had no kit, so


    As you can see the head master wants to feel in power. Mr Sugden is particularly cruel to Billy and bullies him physically, mentally and emotionally this is in his pe lessons. 'I bet that was stimulating for him, wasn't it?'

  2. In Kestrel For A Knave, Hines presents most of Billy's schooling, and his teachers ...

    Billy seems to be an introvert and appears to be most comfortable in solitude, or with his Kestrel. I think that Hines is specifically trying to convey that the schooling in Billy's environment is actually detrimental to his studies and more generally that he only seems to shine in a rural society or environment.

  1. A Kestrel for a Knave

    However, the lack of money is not due to poverty - but due to the reckless and irresponsible attitude Jud and his Mother share. This is reinforced when we learn Billy's house actually has a garage - a feature rather uncommon to housing of the sixties.

  2. Compare the characters of Mr. Grycefrom Barry Hines''Kestrel for a knave' and Mr. Squeers ...

    'You've nothing to comment on your just fodder for the mass media'. Any pupil in this day and age would not stand for this much lack of respect. Mr. Squeers is running a boarding school for orphaned and physically unfortunate boys.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work