Who Is to Blame for Kingshaw's Death Essay

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Lucy Chen Ms. Swailes IGCSE English Literature Feb 23 2013 To what extent do you hold Kingshaw responsible for what happens to him? In her novel I’m the King of the Castle, Susan Hill portrays childhood in a somehow distorted way by telling us about the story of Hooper and Kingshaw–a tale that may be chilling and disturbing, challenging the general impression of ‘childhood’, but meanwhile reveals evilness and desire of power in human nature, which allows us to perceive the seamy side of humanity. While being shocked by Hooper’s maturity and scheming, as well as feeling sympathetic toward Kingshaw’s helplessness, I couldn’t help wondering what had led to Kingshaw’s wretched life. I consider himself to be partly responsible regarding his lack of confidence, and he barely spoke up. However, Helena should take more blame for causing these infirmities and being a selfish mother to bring her son such a life. First of all, Kingshaw should take part of the responsibility because he lacked enough confidence to challenge Hooper. Kingshaw had chances to take away Hooper’s dominance, yet he didn’t make use of them. For example, when the thunder came in the woods, Kingshaw comforted Hooper who was afraid of the deafening sound, and took care of him, witnessing Hooper’s hidden fear. He could have mocked Hooper the same way Hooper used to call him ‘scaredy-baby’, hence taking revenge. Nevertheless, because he didn’t have the confidence to take Hooper’s power and turn the table, he gave away this opportunity, and let Hooper keep the upper hand. Similarly, I found Kingshaw relinquishing every chance afterwards that could perhaps help him out of Hooper’s torment, such as not pulling Hooper over when he could have let him fall off the stairs, and saving Hooper at the pool when he could have left him to drown. In my opinion, Kingshaw had the ability to defeat Hooper, but he

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