The King of the Castle Character Assessment Joseph Hooper.

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29th September 2002


The King of the Castle Character Assessment

Joseph Hooper

Joseph Hooper is a man of his own and he thinks that he is a great man of status; because of this he is very selfish, and he only cares about himself. ‘I will not live here again, until it belongs to me.’ He was a very self-centred man because his father had suffered from a second stroke and he didn’t want to look after him or live there unless the house was his. Joseph Hooper was master in his own house, but his son Edmund should have been the master because he’s hardly there. He is very controlling and domineering and it is ironic what he says. He finds it hard to cope as a single parent, so the father and son relationship becomes cold, clinical and distant and they don’t have a good respectable attitude towards one another. Joseph wants to try and get his son a friend and someone to look after them in their home, so they can have some company and not be alone. He is also very sensitive and overprotected about his son going into the Red Room. This was because it belonged to his father and he wanted it to be left the way it was, so they could have something to remember him by. Joseph is very soft and weak with his son and he listens to him and does what he says. The father is thinking about one thing and his son is doing another, so Edmund is not the son he thinks he is. Edmund says that his grandfather looks like, ‘one of his dead old moths.’ Joseph Hooper is very angry at Edmunds attitude, and tells him to show respect. This shows that he has a soft side to him and he does care about how other people talk about his father. Joseph is very old and has a thin face.

        Joseph was somehow very oppressed about his father’s paperwork; and he was ashamed of the ‘paraphernalia’ of death. He labels his father after his death and his deeds and papers. Joseph is an uncaring parent and he doesn’t like to spend time with his son, because he lets him have his freedom and he can do whatever he wants. Edmund is a master of himself, with no one to tell him off. Joseph doesn’t even know his son well enough because he tells him to go and play cricket, but Edmund refuses to because he doesn’t like cricket. ‘You had really much better be playing cricket in the sun.’ Hooper doesn’t like to waste time with Edmund and calls it a ‘foolish argument.’

        Joseph’s family are rich because the house ‘Warings’ had been built by Edmunds great-grandfather. Joseph Hooper’s father had owned a good deal of land. Hooper thinks that Edmund should be very proud with the history of ‘Warings’ and he is also proud that he is a Hooper because he says to his son, ‘You will come to understand what it means to be a Hooper, as you get older.’ He is a man of ambition and investment and his family history is very important, to him because he says to his son, ‘He was known and respected the world over. This collection is worth a great deal of money.’ He had brought Edmund in the Red Room and lectured and instructed him, and made him watch as the insects were removed from their poison-fume bottles. This shows that he took a lot of interest in the insects and moths in the Red Room; and he wanted his son to be engaged and experienced about it too. He also said to Edmund that everything would belong to him and he should learn the value of what he will inherit. Joseph knew only a part of Edmund, and he knew that he regarded the Red Room as worthless, and he wanted to see Edmund make a name for himself. This is ironic because he is telling his son to do this, when he couldn’t make a name for himself. On the other hand I think that he wants his son to live a better life than him and give him the best future he could ever have. He also wanted his son to do the things, which he couldn’t do in life, such as having a big profession and making something of his life and future.  Joseph also knew that his son would never make a name of himself or something big.

I think that Joseph Hooper was a fairly good single parent; he tried his best to teach his son the right and wrong things. He also likes to boost a lot about the collection, which his grandfather had as part of his hobby. ‘Every ounce of his energy apart from that went into building up this collection.’ He wanted his son to have some pride in his family’s importance, just like any parent want their children to do. ‘For ought not a boy to feel some pride in his family’s importance.

Joseph Hooper also knew that he wasn’t happy that Kingshaw and Mrs Kingshaw were coming to stay with him. Hooper starts to take an interest in his son and he wants them to start communicating to each other and feel free to come and talk to him about anything, such as if something is wrong, he doesn’t want his son to be afraid to talk to his father like he was with his father. ‘But you must come to me and tell me about things, you must not be afraid to admit when something is wrong.’ He also knew that Edmund was going to suffer and he was anxious about this. ‘But Joseph Hooper looked for subtleties beneath the surface of things, anxious, because he had been warned of how much the boy would suffer.’

When Edmund makes a battle field Joseph says, ‘But that is not what any battlefield ever was, that…’ This showed that he was making a gesture, and he wanted to talk, he didn’t want to feel like an intruder and a stranger in his own son’s room. He wanted Edmund and him to be close together because they have only one another and they ought to be able to talk freely with each other. For some reason, Joseph couldn’t tell his son about his own experiences in the battlefield. He thought that the reason why he can’t deal with his son is because he was too young, and he thought that he could deal with him better and understand him if he were older. Edmund is only eleven years old and he is not going through adolescence. Joseph feels alienated from his own son.

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Joseph doesn’t talk to his son about how he felt and how much he wished that everything here would please Mrs Helena Kingshaw. This shows that if Joseph doesn’t talk to his son and explain his feelings, then his son will do the same, because that’s what he’s learnt from his father. Edmunds answers back to his father a lot, but Joseph doesn’t do or say anything to him. He wanted to hit his son for speaking to him in that manner, and it is foolish that he allows him to get the upper hand and insolence. He wanted to ...

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