A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines Essay

A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines Essay

Length: 3065 words (8.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines


For this assignment, I shall be looking at Barry Hines’ novel ‘A
Kestrel for a Knave’. The story focuses on a day in the life of Billy
Casper, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy growing up in an environment
lacking in many ways. In this assignment I am to look at examples of
deprivation in the various areas of Billy Casper’s life.

Barry Hines writes about a young boy growing up in the 1960’s. Despite
the fact that the Welfare State had been in place for over twenty
years, Hines’ novel sheds much light on the kind of life some children
still had to live, in order to survive in societies that should have
been well developed. The text writes in extensive detail about how a
boy like Billy had to live, and I felt quite sympathetic towards Billy
– for him having to endure so much abuse in one day. Considering the
Welfare State had been firmly in place for two decades, reading this
novel opened my eyes to how some families had to live.

Barry Hines was a teacher and he would have had first hand experience
of what life was like for some children of the era. Maybe, through
such a novel, Hines hoped to raise awareness by outlining the poor
standards in which people were living. I shall now therefore like to
explore ways in which Billy’s life lacked.

Firstly I am going to write about how Billy’s life lacked within the
home. I found that Billy was heavily denied of material possessions.
For example – quite early on in the text - we learn Billy is deprived
of the basic necessities of food.

‘There were a packet of dried peas and a half-bottle of vinegar on the
shelves. The bread bin was empty.’

Such extreme circumstances caused Billy to steal; he stole a box of
eggs, a choco...


... middle of paper ...


... happening today that’s frightening,
that makes me feel that it’s all been a waste of time… Like it’s a
waste of time standing here talking to you boys, because you won’t
take a blind bit of notice what I’m saying”.

Another characteristic Hines uses in order to create an effective
novel is the person in which it is written. Hines writes the novel in
third person, however he does not write as an omniscient author. I
think this is a powerful way to put across the characters, since by
this technique not even we, the sympathetic readers, are allowed into
Billy’s thoughts, giving the heightened feeling of isolation and
loneliness Billy is made to endure.

In conclusion, I feel that Billy Hines was successful in conveying the
issue of deprivation through the use of the novel ‘A Kestrel for a
Knave’ and therefore brought about the need for change effectively.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Society's Rejects and Barry Hines' Kestrel for a Knave Essay

- Society's Rejects and Barry Hines' "Kestrel for a Knave" A kestrel for a knave is about a poor troubled Yorkshire lad by the name of Billy Casper. What he imagines to be out of reach and unbelievable are things we take for granted. He imagines love from his parents and just normal, every day things like fish and chips for supper and someone being nice to him. For Billy, that is a dream that will never become reality. Treated as a failure at school and unhappy at home, Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk....   [tags: Barry Hines Kestrel Knave Essays]

Powerful Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

Barry Hines: A Kestrel for a Knave Essay

- Barry Hines: A Kestrel for a Knave The novel ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’, by Barry Hines, is set in 1968 in a Northern industrial estate. It is about a boy named Billy Casper who is under pressure at home and struggling in school. The only time when he can get away is when he escapes to the countryside to experience nature in all its glory. The title of the novel is a sort of play-on-words, as in medieval times there was a group of people called knaves who were, like Billy in the novel, the lowest class of people around....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

The Blurb for A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines Essay

- The Blurb for A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines Works Cited Missing I don't think the blurb for the novel "A Kestrel for a Knave" by Barry Hines gives you an accurate idea of what the book is about. The blurb is over-simplified and makes it seem like there is no hope for Billy. In this essay I will show the writer's skill in creating believable characters; how the writer creates a realistic family life for Billy; Billy's relationship with the hawk; the writer's use of contrasts and description; the structure of the book e.g....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
743 words (2.1 pages)

Treatment of Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines Essay

- Treatment of Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines In "A Kestrel for a Knave", Barry Hines tells his realistic story of a boy called Billy. Firstly Billy lives with his mother and brother in their small house in Barnsley. His mother smokes cigarettes all day and asks, "You haven't got a gag on you, have you, love?" and "Do me a favour, love, and run up to t'shop for some fags." By asking if he can go to the shop and buy some cigarettes, obviously is showing that she is a selfish mother, and not worrying that he should not smoke....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Comparing the Ways in Which Mrs. Casper, Mr. Sugden and Mr. Farthing Treat Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

- Comparing the Ways in Which Mrs. Casper, Mr. Sugden and Mr. Farthing Treat Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines I am going to compare how these three characters, Mrs. Casper, Mr.Sugden and Mr. Farthing treat Billy, a 14 year old boy, living up north in a rough school and he has quite a hard time. Mrs. Casper, who is Billy's mother, has no time for Billy "Oh stop pestering me. I'm late enough as it is!" She finds her social life and nights out more important than listening to what Billy has to say....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
644 words (1.8 pages)

Comparing Oliver Twist and A Kestrel for a Knave Essays

- Comparing Oliver Twist and A Kestrel for a Knave Introduction ============ In this essay I am hoping to show the similarities between the novels 'Oliver Twist' and A 'Kestrel for a Knave'. Charles Dickens wrote Oliver twist in the early ninetieth century. It was set in the area of in and around London. Whereas A Kestrel for a Knave was wrote in the 1960s by Barry Hines and is set in the area of Barnsley. Although the two Novels are set one hundred and thirty years apart there are many similarities between them....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Mr. Gryce from Kestrel for a Knave and Mr. Squeers from Nicholas Nickelby

- Compare the characters of Mr. Grycefrom Barry Hines' Kestrel for a knave' and Mr. Squeers from Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickelby During the course of this essay I will be comparing the teaching methods, school conditions and general demeanor of Mr. Gryce, a secondary school headmaster in the 1960's, and Mr. Squeers who controls a boarding school for disabled and unfortunate children in the 1830's. Both schools are set in Yorkshire. Mr. Gryce is an experienced teacher with 35 years in his profession, although he is seen as a well experienced teacher he is also at or past the suggested retirement age, and some would consider him unfit for the demanding job....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
2097 words (6 pages)

Sympathy in "A Kestrel for a Knave" Essay

- A Kestrel for a Knave tells the story of a day in the life of Billy Casper. The story is written in the third person, but there is little doubt that we are encouraged to look through Billy’s eyes. The setting is South Yorkshire in the 1960s – probably Barnsley – though Hines never names places. In the novel of Kestrel for a knave, it shows the lack of opportunities, lifestyle and just how much the education system fails him. Throughout the essay I will describe and explain each character as they appear and how they affect Billy....   [tags: Kestrel for a Knave, ]

Powerful Essays
711 words (2 pages)

Essay on Main Points of Barry Hines' "Kes"

- Main Points of Barry Hines' "Kes" In this essay, I intend to discuss three main points highlighted in Barry Hines’ play, ‘Kes’. The main theme that I will explore is how Barry Hines viewed teachers in the 1970’s (when the book was first written). Kes brought up the question of whether corporal punishment worked or not. I aim to conclude to whether or not corporal punishment worked. Another aspect of the education system in the 1970’s that I will explore is if pupils from poorer backgrounds were disadvantaged and treated differently....   [tags: Barry Hines Kes Essays]

Powerful Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

An Essay to Show How Billy Is Treated in A Kestrel for a Knave

- In this essay I will be looking into the treatment of Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave, the emotions surrounding them and comparing and contrasting the differences between how three characters treat Billy, those three characters are Billy’s Mother, Jud, and Mr Farthing. The novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, is about a young boy who doesn’t fit in much, he doesn’t have a farther and gets picked on at school, to top it all off he has a terrible home life with his brother Jud bullying him and his mum going off every night drinking....   [tags: emotions, characters, factors]

Powerful Essays
734 words (2.1 pages)