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Compare the ways in which Billy Casper and Jane Eyre are Presented as Outsiders.

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which Billy Casper and Jane Eyre are Presented as Outsiders There are many similarities that can be drawn when comparing these characters; both are presented as outsiders, have family problems, no respectable status and are bullied by peers and elders. With all this repression it would be instinct for Jane and Billy to try their utmost to conform to expectations but the writers create quite the opposite. Both characters are individuals and, at times, defiant and outspoken. Yet amongst all these similarities there are many differences; Jane Eyre is a classic novel written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847 and Billy Casper was created by Barry Hines more than a century later, in 1968. Both characters are very much presented as outsiders, so their relationships with other characters, generally, are not of friendship or companionship, rather relationships of association. However there are friendships that develop through the story. Billy's friendship is evident from the title of the book: "A Kestrel for a Knave." Jane Eyre, on the other hand, finds solace in another girl at Lowood called Helen Burns. Later when Helen falls ill, Jane finds friendship in a girl named Mary Ann Wilson and they both spends pleasant times with Miss Temple, a teacher. Originally Billy spent time, causing trouble, with a group of lads from his class. ...read more.

Middle

After the match Billy is eager to return home to exercise kes, so omits having a shower. This does not go down well with Mr S and, using it as an excuse to further bully Billy. Mr S makes Billy have a shower, Billy obeys but then Mr S says he hasn't washed properly. Billy is then forced to endure a freezing shower, guarded by two other boys. This intimidating experience can be compared to Jane's, both are very similar. Both characters are forced, by no choice of their own, to suffer the very embarrassing and humiliating experience of being singled out and the focus of attention. Incidents like these allow the authors to emphasise the characters as outsiders. The character and personalities of both characters are very different, Jane is very mature for her age, she is only ten yet uses very complicated words sentences and description and has a mature viewpoint. Billy, on the other hand is older than Jane, 15 years old, but his use of language and expressed opinion is simple. However, similarities between characteristics each writer uses can be found; Jane and Billy both enjoy their enforced solitude. Jane enjoys reading, "With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy," and Billy enjoys time with kes. ...read more.

Conclusion

For a 21st century audience the language in 'Jane Eyre' compared to Kes, is much more complex, and exhausting read. Both books use a completely different structure formats. Barry Hines uses 'a life in the day of Billy Casper' to tell the story. Hines uses flashbacks, in the form of daydreams, to explain situations to the reader, but the main action takes place in one day. 'Jane Eyre' tells her story chronologically, but Bronte's use of first person narrative allows Jane to comment on situations with hindsight: "I could not answer the ceaseless inward question -why I thus suffered; now, at the distance of - I will not say how many years - I see it clearly." When comparing the ways in which Billy Casper and Jane Eyre are presented as outsiders, parallels can be found between the situations both authors use to present them. However, the writing formats and techniques contrast, obtaining different reactions from the reader. The directions the stories end in, too, take different routes. Hines leaves the reader feeling very sorry for Billy. Kes, Billy's only companion is brutally killed, in a deliberate onslaught of revenge from Jud. 'Jane Eyre', on the other hand, has a 'happily ever after' ending. Jane falls in love and gets married, consequently her status is changed. She is no longer 'unattached' and an outsider, but has come to lead a fulfilling life. Jess Rees 09/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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