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"What is the Importance of the Kestrel in the novel " A Kestrel for a Knave."

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"What is the Importance of the Kestrel in the novel " A Kestrel for a Knave." Billy Casper is a mischievous young boy. This is expressed in the title of the book, " A kestrel for a knave." Billy leads a lonely and miserable life because his family does not love him and just think of him as a nuisance and a liability. His mother and his brother Jud are not interested in him at all. They are both more interested in their social life and their appearance. Billy gets the kestrel about a third of the way through the book because he feels that he needs someone to love and to show affection to. I think that the kestrel symbolizes Billy's love for his father. Throughout the book we see this but especially in the "Tall Story" we see Billy's love for his father when he writes, " Jud's going to the army and he's not coming back but your dad's coming back instead." ...read more.


Billy is so determined to learn about the kestrel that he ignores Jud and carries on reading the book. From this we can see that the kestrel is having a positive influence on Billy and is encouraging him to learn. In pages 64-70, Billy is in Mr. Farthing's lesson learning about "Fact and Fiction." Billy is made to stand up and talk about something. Mr. Farthing persuades Billy to talk about his hawk. Even though Billy is normally very self-conscious and too embarrassed to speak in front of the whole class he gave a ten-minute talk to the class on his hawk and how he had trained it. He told the class everything he had done with the kestrel since he had got it from "Monastery Farm." This talk shows us how much Billy has learned about the kestrel. ...read more.


Mr. Farthing comes to Billy's house to watch Billy fly Kes. Billy describes his feelings for the hawk. In this scene we see how much Billy cares for the hawk. When the hawk was flying we can tell from the words, "It's brilliant!" that Billy is filled with awe and was extremely proud of his best friend Kes. He loved showing his most treasure to someone else that understood how he felt. In conclusion the kestrel is very important in Billy's life. From being a lonely, very shy and mischievous boy he has become more determined to learn, less self-conscious and he does not get in trouble because he does not "hang around" with McDowell. Since Billy got the hawk he has learned a lot about it. The kestrel is Billy's hobby so he does not mind that he has no friends because Kes is the best friend Billy has ever had. The kestrel encourages Billy and is someone that Billy can talk to who will understand. ...read more.

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