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Compare the ways in which Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mr Farthing treat Billy.

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Compare the ways in which Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mr Farthing treat Billy. In this essay I will attempt to compare the ways in which the three main characters in this story treat Billy, Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mr Farthing. The book is set in the sixties in a mining village in Yorkshire. First of all I will discuss Billy, he is a young and naive boy, he is about to leave school which is a place he hates. He doesn't get on with most of the teachers and rebels against their rules. He hates and is hated, his family and friends are harsh to him, and already think he is going to end a failure, and in trouble. He doesn't want to work down the mines and wants to work with animals which he knows about. His only companion is his kestrel hawk which he raised from the nest and trained well. There are many similarities between himself and the hawk. For example it is a bird of prey, it doesn't get any pleasure in killing, but it has to kill to live, Billy doesn't get any pleasure in stealing but has to steal otherwise he would not be fed. ...read more.


'Billy get up to that shop and do as you're telled. He shook is head. His mother stepped forward, but he backed off, keeping the same distance between them.' Billy was already late for school, yet his mother wanted him to go up to the shop and buy her cigarettes, this shows she is more concerned with herself than Billy, and his life and school. Another example of her not caring and showing affection was when Billy was reading his book and she asks about it, and when he is half way through explaining she realises she is late and runs out to go to the pub, leaving Billy to fend for himself. 'A kestrel hawk, what do you think it is? 'I say what time is it?' She then runs out and leaves him to fend for himself. Further more, when Billy needs his mum the most and actually goes to hug his mother when he is in tears, she rejects him, shaking him off her and telling him to grow, this shows a lack of maternal qualities once again, and even shows she is embarrassed to be a mother. ...read more.


He is sympathetic, caring and kind hearted. He is onerous with his time, he maybe Billy's father figure and there is a bond between them. He takes time to visit Billy and to meet the hawk. However his motives maybe are deeper as he wants to check out Billy's' domestic background. 'I've been to see Grice sir' 'Yes I know, how many this time?' 'Two' 'Sting' 'Not Bad' This shows he cares about Billy and is understanding. I conclude by saying that there are not many links in the way the characters treat Billy, although Mrs Casper and Mr Sugden treat Billy with some similarity. For example both are harsh and evil in their use of language and actions. However, in Mr Farthing, Billy sees a friendship and trust. This makes a strong contrast with the other two characters and their relationship with Billy. Barry Hines creates many different characters in his novel and each character has a very different perception of Billy, the ways in which Mr Farthing, Mr Sugden and Mrs Casper treat Billy is just an example. 'A Kestrel for a Knave' is a novel that explores relationships in great detail, focusing especially on Billy as the central figure within the story. ...read more.

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