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Compare and contrast the portrayal of parent / child relationshipsin the two novels

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Harriet Ward April 2002 Compare and contrast the portrayal of parent / child relationships in the two novels A good parent / child relationship, in my opinion, requires good communication levels (ie. they listen to each other), trust, disipline, respect and of course love. These novels portray very varied types of parent / child relationships. For example, in I'm the king of the castle, neither parent / child relationship, in general, is particularly good. The first encounter of a parent / child relationship is the one between Mr Hooper and his son Edmund (Hooper). The conversation that they have with each other is not typical of a father and son. The whole text seems very informal and cold, almost as if they were strangers. This is evident for instance when Mr Hooper says things like; "Edmund, you will not be difficult, please, I have a good deal to do, I cannot waste time in foolish arguments". This is the kind of formal and precise lauguage that you might expect he may use talking to a business partner not his own son. It seems that Mr Hooper, even though he has had a son for 11 years, is not very used to being around children. ...read more.


One being that he cannot bear to see Eppie in any pain, discomfort or slight upset in anyway. Even when Eppie does something wrong, like wondering out of the house by herself, Silas cannot punish her as he loves her too much to hurt her. As it happens Eppie grows up to be a nice, polite and unspoilt young woman, but sometimes children may begin to take advantage of the fact that they never get told off. Silas is always very concerned when Eppie is in any discomfort and tries his hardest to make her feel happy again. He does not stop to think about himself at all when he is looking after Eppie, unlike Mr Hooper and Mrs Kingshaw who continuously just think of themselves and their new relationship with each other. Another vital aspect of good parenting is having respect for each other. Mrs Kingshaw shows a great lack of respect for her son as she never seems to take his pleas for help seriously. She still evidently treats him like a small child even though he is facing a somewhat 'older - child' problem. I feel that she sometimes mocks Kingshaw, unknowingly. For example when she is having what she thinks is a heart - to - heart conversation with her son, she tries to encourage Kingshaw to tell her his worries by saying; "You would tell Mummy, wouldn't you? ...read more.


In Silas Marner's time, communication, other than in person, was extremely difficult if not impossible, so generally people tended not to know people outside of their own village or town. Children were not sent away to boarding school unlike in I'm the king of the castle where both children went to boarding school and therefore saw less of their parents. As for Silas, Eppie had never even been away from home ever and he had witnessed everything in her life unlike Mr Hooper and Mrs Kingshaw who didn't seem to even know their own children. The elements of a good parent / child relationship have probably not changed over the past 150 years. Communication, trust, respect, disipline and love were and still are necessary but society's view on the family has changed dramatically. In Silas Marner's time, marrying someone of a different social class was unheard of, nevermind having children with them. I think this made more families in this time more determined to have a happy family and remain together. Eppie is brought up in the most difficult and challenging circumstances but it turns out that Kingshaw and Hooper are the unhappy ones and not Eppie. I think that this totally proves that it does not matter if you are rich/poor, upper class/lower class when it comes to having a successful family and that it all comes down to the amount of love that you have for your family. ...read more.

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