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How do the experiences, feelings and thoughts of Helena Kingshaw contribute to events in the novel?

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How do the experiences, feelings and thoughts of Helena Kingshaw contribute to events in the novel? The experiences, feelings and thoughts of Helena Kingshaw contribute greatly to events in the novel. Before she went to live with the Hoopers in Warings, Helena Kingshaw was married to another man, Kingshaw's father. From the incident about the swimming pool as mentioned in the novel, where Kingshaw's father was oblivious to his plight, we can tell that there are some similarities between Kingshaw's father's attitude towards Kingshaw and Helena Kingshaw. Therefore, Mrs Kingshaw's lax attitude towards Kingshaw could have been affected by her former husband's. Her attitude towards Kingshaw has seeded many of Kingshaw's problems in the novel. After Mr Kingshaw died, Mrs Kingshaw was thrown into poverty, insecurity, and the state of homelessness. This could have changed Mrs Kingshaw as she had to start to bring up Kingshaw alone, juggling his care with the need for money, security and a home. Kingshaw realizes this: "It was his father's fault ... his dying had been the start of all, the not having enough money, and living in other people's house", as he thinks about the distance between his mother and him. ...read more.


Kingshaw is mistreated by her in an attempt to make her look as though she is treating him and Hooper equally. Her disguised attempt to let Hooper make friends with Kingshaw's last hope, Fielding, though opposed by Kingshaw, was carried out, with no regard for Kingshaw at all. Mrs Kingshaw's indifference or lack of feeling, for Kingshaw seems to make him feel as though there is no one there for him. He feels isolated and alone, and this leads to his lone battle of wills against Hooper and ultimately, to his suicide. Kingshaw learns to hate Mrs Kingshaw, his own mother and these feelings of hate change his nature, hardening him and frightening him at the same time. The time that Kingshaw is forced to spend with Hooper gives rise to deepening hatred between them, and intensifies the psychological warfare between them, which is apparent by the greater degrees of torment Hooper inflicts on Kingshaw. Mrs Kingshaw's apathy when it comes to Kingshaw's torture is taken advantage of by Hooper, who is able to get away scot-free. Mrs Kingshaw causes much jealousy of Kingshaw in Hooper, again, creating more hate in Kingshaw for the both of them. ...read more.


Again, this adds to Kingshaw's and her distance. Mrs Kingshaw also believes that motherhood consists of "saying the right things and looking sufficiently at ease" in Kingshaw's presence. Because of this thought, everything she does is merely for show, making it very superficial, and she thus only 'mothers' and 'loves' Kingshaw when they are in front of Hooper, when her actions are taken note of, or when it is in the house. This dishonesty and hypocrisy disgusts Kingshaw, and at the same time, attracts Mr Hooper, and is possibly another reason for their marriage. Mrs Kingshaw's thinking that Kingshaw and Hooper can be friends drives her to make them spend time together, giving Kingshaw the impression of no escape and disheartening him, and at the same time, giving Hooper the opportunity to torment Kingshaw. As in the incidents where Kingshaw was locked in the Red Room and in the shed, Mrs Kingshaw's assumption that they were just playing together allows Hooper to remain "innocent" and allows Hooper to torment Kingshaw another time, again and again until Kingshaw finally commits suicide. As it can be seen from above, all of Mrs Kingshaw's feelings, thoughts and experiences are inter-linked and closely related. Altogether, they have contributed greatly to the marriage, Hooper's psychological bullying and Kingshaw's helpless and hopeless plight, the key events in the novel. ...read more.

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