The central focus of the novel is on the school and the tripartite education system, which contained grammar, technology and secondary modern schools. Billy attends a secondary modern school because he wasn't academic enough to pass his eleven-plus and go to a grammar school. As Billy Casper attends a secondary modern school, he is labelled from an early age, as the teachers expect Billy and his classmates to "go down the pit," the teachers do not try there best to educate the children as best as they could, this is Barry Hindes criticism. The teachers have a prejudged Billy and his classmates, they are constantly told they are worthless and therefore they live up to this prophecy, and because of this, teachers often miss any vital sign for intellect. Billy has obvious signs for intelligence; he is observant, patient and uses vivid description when talking about nature "foliage", "stile", "herd", "sapling", "tentacles underfoot" and "hillocks." Yet when writing the tall story, in the English lesson he uses basic language and fails to spell correctly basic words such as here and any, but can spell more complex words such as Jesses. Barry Hindes shows how inadequately Billy's potential has been developed by the education system because when he is interested in a subject s...
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... Barry Hindes criticises how a member of society still judges someone on how they live and where they come from. Barry Hindes also criticises the man made environment. The juxtapose from nature to a man made environment is evident through the text, the estate and the betting shop are described as being ugly, unattractive and repulsive, where as nature is described as being tranquil, peaceful and beautiful. The setting of the wood against the estate at the beginning of the book is an example of how Barry Hindes criticises the man-made environment, the wood is described as "sparkling.".."drops of dew" and "fresh" whereas the estate is ugly and grey.
Barry Hindes can be described as a social critic because through his novel a "Kestrel for a knave" he successfully criticises the education system, the Caspers inability to express emotions and the man made environment.
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