King Of The Castle Isolation

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“I’m the King of the Castle” by Susan Hill focuses on the gradual negligence of Charles Kingshaw and Edmund Hooper leading them to resort to methods of cruelty. Hill expresses the constant theme of isolation using imagery that brings connotations of seclusion and a forced environment. These ideas are portrayed through the use of irony and conflict. The reader is forced to dramatize any event in the unconventional novel. Cruelty in the book is prominent through Hooper’s subconscious which the reader is only occasionally given access to, and otherwise his malevolent actions concerning Kingshaw. The parent’s apathy of the two children is also emphasized as it leads to the growing competition. Hill uses characterization to strengthen…show more content…
The running theme of isolation is expressed early in the novel through the brief descriptions of the setting, Warings. The first impression that Hill gives to the reader of Warings is of seclusion, elaborating on its “distance from other houses”. This isolation in terms of setting itself evokes ideas of abandonment of not just the area, but also its residents. It also kindles the cruel actions from Hooper later in the novel as in the absence of other friends and love, darker feelings have been allowed to develop and have been given free reign to a boy whose never been adequately guided. Hooper revels in the solitude of his home as a result, whereas Kingshaw is almost forced into it. In Derme, imagery of the deserted landscape and the crow is used by Hill to emphasize his loneliness and vulnerability. Hang wood is the only setting in the novel in which Hooper does not directly sabotage Kingshaw through psychological means. Hill, to emphasize this in the novel, uses contrasting diction when describing Hang Wood compared to Warings, such as “different birds kept on singing”. The…show more content…
So Hill stresses the cruelty of Kingshaw’s fate through setting, as she allows false hope to allure both the reader, and the character. In I’m the of the Castle, Hill largely expresses the idea of cruelty through the use of irony. For instance, childhood often brings connotations of innocence and amusement, an idea that is completely contrasted in the novel. Hooper and Kingshaw often display adult themes such as violence, and psychological manipulation in the book, and due to this, any negative effect that Hooper has on Kingshaw is instinctively exaggerated in the readers mind. Hill constantly reminds the reader of the characters’ youths through quotes such as “Hooper made a babyish face” and “like a much smaller child crayoning”. The only setting in the novel where the two are not made to be constantly attempting to overpower each other is Hang Wood, though subtle undertones of such still exist. In “I’m the King of the Castle”, Susan Hill uses imagery and symbolism to initiate ideas of isolation and cruelty. In chapter fifteen she uses the crows as Kingshaw is on his way to Derme to arouse the feelings of terror again. She also uses contrasting ideas

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