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GCSE: Barry Hines

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    A Kestrel For A Knave.

    3 star(s)

    Billy does not seem to have a good future ahead of him. His life looks very bleak. To get a bit of money Billy does a paper round. He gets on his bike every morning and delivers papers from his local newsagents; except this morning, his brother, Jud, took Billy's bike. So this causes Billy to be late for his job. As Billy collects his papers he steals some chocolate, showing he is hungry. Billy stales quite a lot, but only food and drink, I think he does it because he is always hungry and doesn't get enough food at home.

    • Word count: 911
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. How does Hines presents Mrs Casper in the novel.

    Hines chose to write the novel in third person because if it was written by Billy, the readers wouldn't be able to read it, firstly because he has a strong Yorkshire accent and secondly because he is illiterate. However the narrator follows Billy's every step so it's like we still see everything through Billy's eyes. Barry Hines partly wrote this novel to show that single mothers, like Mrs Casper struggle and so should be helped not looked down upon. Hines presents Mrs Casper in the passage, as a mother that doesn't know how to deal with a problem.

    • Word count: 634
  5. the kez

    The story takes place in the surroundings of Billy's life: his house; newsagent, as he works there for Mr. Porter; Mac's house, as the play provides the sense that he is the only friend he has, apart from the argument and fights they have had in the school; the public library as Billy has nicked a book about falconry that had helped him to deal with his hawk and provided him the knowledge he needed to take good care of his hawk; the school that Billy attends, as the play takes some parts in the school and as he faces some trouble there; and some local shops that he passes by.

    • Word count: 760
  6. Kes affected Billy's life in many ways, for good and for bad

    "It's not Sir." "But that's the mark of an expert isn't it. Someone who makes a difficult skill look easy?"' This shows that he considers Billy as an expert, but says it to Billy subtly. Also Mr Farthing believes that Billy is learned in the skill of training kestrels as he follows his instructions, showing that although he is a teacher, he does not know best in this situation - '"Keep looking away Sir, they don't like being stared at, Hawks." "Right, best do as you say." These show that Mr Farthing has some respect for Billy.

    • Word count: 2219
  7. 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
  8. A Kestrel for a Knave

    Such extreme circumstances caused Billy to steal; he stole a box of eggs, a chocolate bar and some milk. He did not steal for the adrenaline rush, nor did he do it out of spite or for peer pressure - Billy stole because he needed to do it to survive. Secondly, I discovered Billy is deficient of satisfactory clothing. In the very early stages of the text, Jud takes Billy's clothes, and so he is left with no other option but to wear his Mother's sweater. 'He placed the clock on the mantelpiece then picked up his Mother's sweater from the settee and pulled it on over his shirt.'

    • Word count: 3154
  9. 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

    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
  11. 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
  12. How important is Kes to Billy?

    Billy is stuck in the middle of this slap dash family, the lives though the torment on a daily basic. However there is a slim ray of light in this world for Billy. Kes. Kes is a bird, and Billys best friend and the only good thing he has got going for him. Kes is what the whole of Billys life is shaped around. Billy is always doing things which might get him in trouble or make him look foolish will help Kes.

    • Word count: 733
  13. Compare the ways in which Mrs. Casper, Mr. Sugden and Mr. Farthing Treat Billy.

    Casper doesn't care about speaking to her son in a rude way, but when Billy swears to her she finds it very offensive and tells him to apologize so she is allowed to speak to him like that but Billy is not. He faces abuse from his mother as she tries to grab Billy, as he is isn't doing what he is told, as well as that she threatens him "I'll b****y murder you when I get hold of you!"

    • Word count: 912
  14. Compare the ways in which Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mr Farthing treat Billy.

    Also there are a lot of similarities between the author of the book, Barry Hines, and Billy himself. Barry Hines was born in the mining village of south Hoyland common, near Barnsley, south Yorkshire. There is a similarity there as Billy was born in a mining village at the same period of time from a poor working family background. Therefore it could be the author has an influence over the character of Billy. The way in which Mrs Casper treats Billy is harsh.

    • Word count: 975
  15. Compare the way Mrs Casper, Mr Sugden and Mrs Farthing treat Billy in

    She is expressing herself to be physically harsh to Billy, and demonstrates that she is an uncaring mother. For Billy to get away from his mother it is like escaping from a prison, however, instead of getting charged a sentence, he is beaten by his own mother. Furthermore, Mrs Casper has no time for Billy as even when she remotely is questioning what he is doing during the evening and he responds that he will, "Read my book" and when he tells his mum its about "Falconry" and that he is "goin' to get young kestrel" she has no idea what that is, and when Billy explains she changes the subject and says "I say, what time is it?"

    • Word count: 928
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. In Kestrel For A Knave, Hines presents most of Billy's schooling, and his teachers of any significance that we encounter, in a negative way - Discuss.

    He listens to children and persists with Billy, even after he cries, to get a positive response from him. His gamble pays off as Billy talks in great depth about Falconry, which proves he has the ability to learn but is rarely given the opportunity to shine. Farthing is introduced straight after Gryce. I think Hines clearly juxtaposes the two characters to reinforce the contrast between their attitudes and teaching methods and highlight both. I find the presentation of Mr Farthing more realistic unlike Mr Gryce because I am not used to teachers like Gryce.

    • Word count: 3334
  19. A Kestral For A Knave.

    This speech gave Billy confidence because at the start of the speech Billy had a slight reluctance to share his feeling with the rest of the class. The whole class was interested in the speech about Falconry and several students asked him questions on it at the end. This was one of the high points in the book as no one cussed him or laughed at him. This alone proves that Billy is very bright and has a lot of confidence because he stole the falconry book from a store just to train a hawk (not normal).

    • Word count: 736
  20. Report on the subject of Billy Casper being on probation.

    He also mentioned that Billy made an excellent speech in class on the subject of his kestrel. Mr. Sugden strongly disagreed with Mr Farthing's comments, saying Billy is stupid and that he doesn't put any effort into his lessons. He said Billy never turns up to his lessons with his kit and all he does is swing on the goal posts. Mrs. Casper angrily reacted to Mr. Sugden, claiming she doesn't believe her money should be wasted on kit when it can go towards a better cause.

    • Word count: 753
  21. How Are The Relationships Between Teachers And Pupils Presented In Chapter 8 Of 'Whispers In The Graveyard' By Theresa Breslin, And The PE Lesson In 'A Kestrel For A Knave' By Barry Hines?

    This is because his dad is a very heavy and dependent drinker, which means there is never any spare money for food and other loyalties. It's no wonder he doesn't have a simple PE kit. On the other hand, Billy has one horrible brother (Judd), a mum, but this time his dad has run away from home. Again, they've not got much money as his mum has a spending problem so not much room for food, etc. With no support, his mum doesn't think there's a reason for buying his PE kit now when he's about to leave school!

    • Word count: 904
  22. Investigate the ways in which Barry Hines explores Billy's life in 'A Kestrel for A Knave'.

    This is why she doesn't show Billy any love or affection as she sees him as a hassle and treats him as though he is a mistake. Billy's been bought up to almost hide his emotions 'Well, what's he crying about then?' which I feel reflects in his behaviour towards others. Billy's mother has loose morals and has a reputation of sleeping with many men 'Who's that bloke' which infers that Billy is used to finding strange men in his house.

    • Word count: 3510
  23. A study of Neil Fry and how the other characters react with him in Bernard MacLaverty's 'More Than Just the Disease'.

    "Buttoning the jacket right up to his neck." He is ashamed even around his best friend. Neil is continually haunted by the words of him mother "Be tidy at all times." This makes it seem as Neil is suppressed by his mother to do what she says all of the time. His mother has drilled her rules into him. Her phrases are continually running around his head. In his house, the family always eat breakfast at the table "Breakfast wasn't a meal like in his house." This again shows that he is a timid boy and has let his mother rule his life.

    • Word count: 996
  24. Discussing Kes.

    When his brother found out that Billy had not bet for him he looked for Billy the whole day but didn't find him so Jud played a nasty trick on Billy and killed the kestrel. Barry Hines the author is the man behind the play who brought his characters to life. Barry Hines describes his play as general day. The book was based in a grimy, depressed area, Barnsley although it is local to us and has evolved over time as with rest of the world today.

    • Word count: 749
  25. Short story assessement - "The Bread winner" by Leslie Halward.

    Billy's dad was the person who aroused different emotions I disliked him because he bullied Billy and his wife. Towards Billy I felt sympathy because he is working all week then comes home and gets a beating from his dad. I also feel admiration towards Billy because I admire him for standing up to his dad. A quotation which helps me feel sympathetic towards Billy is: "he beat him unmercifully about the body and legs" I felt really sorry for Billy at this point because he had been working all week and came in to a beating and no food.

    • Word count: 629

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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