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GCSE: Barry Hines

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  1. Kes. This story was set in 1968 in Barnsley. The key characters In this story are Billy, Jud, Mrs. Casper and Mr. Sudgen

    Casper is Billy's mum and the only parent that Billy lives with. He doesn't really get on with his mum, she never goes out and gets food she just tells Billy to go to the shop and get some sweets. ''Here, there's two bob for you. Go and buy yourself some pop an' some crisps or summat'' so there's showing she doesn't have no food and can't be bothered to go and get him food. She's always bringing men home and always going out, everyone knows her as a tart really; she always is going around men and has a reputation for it.

    • Word count: 1373
  2. In a Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines, Hines effectively conveys the bleak and depressing theme of deprivation. The central character Billy suffers physical, emotional and educational deprivation.

    For example when he tries to tell his mum about Kestrels and training them she quickly changes the subject. She says: " I say, what time is it?" This shows that she has no interest in him and also that she has no time for him. Billy's brother, Jud also neglects him and puts him down a lot of the time. For example he calls him names when he is attempting to read his book on falconry. He says: " What's tha want that for when tha can't read?"

    • Word count: 1267
  3. Not having any friends or anyone who cares for him Billy began to spend more time with his Kestrel "Kes", eventually confiding in Kes, using her to escape the harsh realities of the real world Billy came to love the Kestrel and

    Every child looks up to their parents, loves them, respects them and aspires to be like their siblings. Every child except one....... Billy Casper. Billy Casper has been given nothing but hatred from his brother Jud who wakes up every morning ready to give Billy another beating, it happened so often now that it had become almost like a daily ritual. Wake up, have Jud sit on you get dressed, have Jud torture you some more and go off to school and work. Yes. That was everyday life for Billy. That was Billy's morning ritual. Even his mother was a disgrace.

    • Word count: 1204
  4. Barry Hines in writing a Kestrel for a Knave wants his readers to think about the way that society lets some people be rejects..

    But Kes is extremely close to Billy's heart. Kes gives Billy a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Kes gives Billy the will to live another day while other is Billy's position would have given up on life long ago. Kes is effectively Billy's best friend and whom he spends most of his spare time with and would have continues to do so after he left school if event wouldn't have gone the way they had done. Billy is portrayed as someone who has given up on everything as he knows he wont get a second chance, and that he's future is going down the same road as his older brother Jud.

    • Word count: 1043
  5. A KESTREL FOR A KNAVE

    Jud is the kind of person that likes to get his own way at home. As soon as Jud comes in to the scene we are shown the way in which he bullies Billy. This begins by the alarm going off for Jud. Jud is in a bad mood. Jud physically bullies Billy this is shown in the novel when 'He swung his fist under the blankets and thumped Billy in the kidneys', This is a very bad place to hit someone especially someone as small as Billy he can suffer really badly and would be in agony.

    • Word count: 1183
  6. Schooling in the 1970's as shown in Kes

    The headmaster, Gryce, is an excellent example of how the typical 1970's teacher is viewed. In scene 11, The Headmasters study; Gryce is shown to be a short-tempered man who seems to enjoy caning pupils. For example you could tell that the messenger had never been in trouble before because when Billy, Macdowall and the smokers asked the messenger to keep the cigarettes he says, "I don't want them, your not getting me into trouble as well"(p18). Pupils who had often been in trouble would not have said something like that, as they would have been used to getting into bother.

    • Word count: 1346
  7. How far can upbringing and school be held responsible for a person's success and failure in life?

    My family support me with my schoolwork, help me with my problems and protect me from my fears. This makes me a well balanced, stable, all round person. They teach me manners and how to treat people with respect thus benefiting me when I leave home and have to cope with the big wide world alone. I believe and hope that all these benefits will contribute to my success in life, whether success depends on luck (being in the right place at the right time)

    • Word count: 1481
  8. Similarities And Differences Between 'Billy Elliot' And 'Kes'

    Through this the main characters find compassion and comfort as their hobby begins to allow them to learn things that it is impossible to teach at school etc. Both these characters also have deep personalities and prove to their audiences that there are things in life that they do care about and matter to them so much it is as if it is all they have in the world. I think that the director wanted the audience in each case to feel sympathy towards the characters and hope their new hobby would bring them support and allow them to do well in life.

    • Word count: 1511
  9. How do the various adults treat Billy Casper in "Kestrel for a Knave"?

    She doesn't seem to have any time for him and when she wants to get her some cigarettes because he will be late for school she gets angry. "Have you had any tea Billy", "NO", "Well get some" this shows that he is left to fend for himself and if he doesn't make any tea for himself know one else will. When Jud kills Billy Kestrel all his mother has to say is, "That was a rotten trick Jud" she doesn't stand up for Billy or try to comfort him in anyway, when Billy tries to cry in his mothers lap all she says is, "Gi'o'er then, don't be so daft" this makes Billy feel unwanted and rejected.

    • Word count: 1302
  10. It has been said that Billy is part of the 'limbo generation' of the 1960s.

    His brother abuses him physically and verbally. A good example of this is in the opening scene where Jud thumps Billy in the kidneys because he has to get up early and Billy doesn't. Jud strips the bedclothes off the bed they have to share so that Billy cannot sleep longer than he can. Verbal abuse is shown in Jud's determination to run Billy down, for example, about his reading ability, or his interest in the bird, or taunting him about the future which will consist of going down the mine with the rest of the men.

    • Word count: 1424
  11. Nature of the Beast By Janni Howker.

    That is one of the ways in which the author creates sympathy for Billy. Billy is an imaginative person, he has ambition and plans for the future; he says when referring to the hunt that he wants to undertake to try find the beast; 'Only been a day dream until now'. The relationship Billy has with his family i.e. Ned and Chunder, is very strong although it may not appear that way to an outsider, such as the social worker who appears towards the end of the book.

    • Word count: 1211
  12. Compare the ways the Education system is depicted in "HardTimes" by Charles Dickens and "A Kestrel for a Knave" byBarry Hines

    In A Kestrel for a Knave the secondary modern school is run by Gryce. It accommodates the failures of the 11+ exam; those destined for working class jobs. Pupils face harsh punishments, that are often violent, and are suppressed by the authority. The boys, however, still rebel against the system as eventually the punishments become a way of life. Dickens presents Gradgrind as a hard man and this is reflected in his name which is harsh and blunt. Barry Hines present Gryce in a similar way but his name evokes images of slime, grease and evilness.

    • Word count: 1557
  13. A Kestrel for a Knave – An alternative ending.

    'That bastard killed it,' Billy shouted pointing at Jud. 'Shut tha mouth Billy. It were thi own bloody fault anyroad.' Jud was beginning to lose his temper. 'Just look what he's done mam.' Billy had started to regain some strength through the warmth of the fire. He pushed the body towards his mother's face. 'Gi' over Billy.' 'None of you care about me.' Billy was shaking. He placed Kes carefully on the kitchen table and, without warning he lunged at Jud, kicking and scratching with every fragment of muscle he could force together.

    • Word count: 1438
  14. Discuss ways in which Playwrights use the possibility of theatre to convey the meaning of a story

    He used this book to get the message across of what a certain kind of life was really like. The way that he uses the possibility of theatre in the novel is very effective. Obviously there are some things that would be able to be used in film but not in theatre such as a live kestrel, music and quick effective scene changes. But, messages of hardship and sadness are more effective on stage because the audience feel closer to the actors as they are right in front of them in the flesh. There are many examples of stage directions used in the novel that show Hines' intentions to make the scenes serious when performed on stage.

    • Word count: 1625
  15. The Role of Parenting in Henry Roth's Call it Sleep

    David's relationship to his mother, Genya, is filled with love. However, as David gets older this love is sometimes replaced by shame. David, who formally took comfort in being near his mother, is trying to free himself from only feeling safe in her arms. At the beginning of the novel, David needed his mother to wait in the stairwell while he came up stairs because he was so terrified. While later in the novel, David is proud of himself for walking up the stairs and not being afraid of anything.

    • Word count: 1590

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare the way Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mrs Farthing treat Billy in

    "In conclusion, it is obvious that each character reported, treats Billy in a different way. All characters except Mr Farthing, but especially Mr Sugden either physically bullies Billy, or severely threatens to bully Billy. However, if Mr Farthing bullies Billy, it is for his own good, and to build up his confidence."

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