I`M the King of the Castle

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2) Susan Hill describes in great detail the setting of ITKOTC, Warings, and has chosen specifically to focus on the botany surrounding the house. This is evident in the quote “the yew trees stood before the house… the first Joseph Hooper had admired their solidity and denseness”. The choice “yew trees” is significant as they are a classic symbol of death and sorrow; the fact that they “stood before the house” highlights that not only is the house itself permeated with death (see Moths page), it is also surrounded by death and despair. It can also be inferred that the house has an evil presence (reflected by the dark and gloomy interior) and anyone who intrudes on Warings (Kingshaw, in particular) has to surrender to that presence. The phrase “solidity and denseness” suggests that the trees had been a line of defence for the first Hooper, and now for Edmund Hooper; he sees it as not just protection for him from foreign intruders (like Kingshaw and his mother), but also an army of nature to cause death and destruction. This relates to Hooper’s sense of militarism and strategic nature, and his powerhungry need to be “King of the Castle”. It is relevant that Hill often uses nature as a symbol for atmospheres, conflicts or characters. Crow Symbolism The crow is an important symbol in I'm the King of the Castle; it is one of the clearest representation of a character (Hooper) as opposed to a symbol for a concept/idea. Crows are birds which have deep symbolic roots and there is a clear intextertual link between ITKOTC's crow and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. Susan Hill has chosen very powerful diction to emphasize the crow’s violent movement and its symbolic nature. The phrase “it rose up suddenly, circled overhead, and then dived” (p.40) is used to describe the crow’s violent movements. The use of the phrase “circled overhead” hints at the predatory nature of the crow, and
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