1. How do the various adults treat Billy Casper in “Kestrel for a Knave”? 2. How dose the society in which Billy lives in have an effect on him? 1. Billy Casper is a 14 year old boy who lives in a rough area of South Yorkshire in 1968. In the book most of the adults treat him with no respect and look down on him, but a few take pity on him and begin to understand him. In the book even his family treat him bad. His brother Jud treats him like dirt and thinks he has the right to boss Billy around.
He says things like, “O’shut it”, “Do it yourself” and “I’d have bloody killed him if I’d got hold of his this afternoon”. Jud never dose anything for Billy but expects Billy to do things for him. He dose not treat Billy like a brother and doesn’t seem to like him. His mother, (Miss Casper as she is known in the book) treats him just as bad if not worse. She says things like “O’ stop pestering me” and “We will see if you’re going or not you cheeky, young bugger”. She doesn’t seem to have any time for him and when she wants to get her some cigarettes because he will be late for school she gets angry.
“Have you had any tea Billy”, “NO”, “Well get some” this shows that he is left to fend for himself and if he doesn’t make any tea for himself know one else will. When Jud kills Billy Kestrel all his mother has to say is, “That was a rotten trick Jud” she doesn’t stand up for Billy or try to comfort him in anyway, when Billy tries to cry in his mothers lap all she says is, “Gi’o’er then, don’t be so daft” this makes Billy feel unwanted and rejected. His family is very hostile towards Billy and they think he is there to do erans for them.
In some ways his mother is worse, she dose not physical hurt him like Jud but she has no time for him and doesn’t help or comfort him, she isn’t a friend to him. It’s not just his family that Teat him bad, at his school and most places he goes he gets treated with no respect and nastily. Billy has a job at a newsagent as a paper boy. It is owned by a man called Mr Porter. Mr Porter treats Billy like he is inferior, and that he is a know hoper who is aspect to do badly in life. He constantly criticises him telling him that he is lucky to have the job.
When Jud steels Billy’s bike to go to work on, Billy is forced to walk his paper round. Mr Porter blames Billy and says “There’s a waiting list a mile long for your job, you know. Grand too, some of em. Lads from up Firs Hill, and around there. ” Mr Porter threatens Billy and dose not trust him at all. E thought Billy steels a chocolate bar from my porters shop, which is wrong. But he would not have had to steel it if he had been able to get breakfast that morning. When Billy comes back from his paper round, Mr Porter thinks that he had not done it properly.
He says “what did you do, throw half of em over a hedge”, this emphasizes how he dose not trust Billy and is constantly nasty towards him. Billy seems just to take all this and even plays a joke on Mr Porter, by shaking the ladder he is on. When Billy is at school Billy gets treated just as bad. His school is run down and old. The most the teachers expect from the kids is that they get a poor job in mines or somewhere like that. All of the teachers pick on Billy and don’t expect anything good to become of Billy. His head master gives Billy the Kane for daydreaming in assembly.
Also while he is waiting to be kaned a boy gets mixed up and is kaned also, when all he was doing was delivering a message. This shows how the teachers don’t listen and show no care or concern in anything the pupils do. His games teacher Mr Syeogen is properly the nastiest towards Billy. He treats Billy as if he is dumb and picks on him with everything he dose. He tells Billy to keep out of trouble as if he was a criminal. Billy replies saying “I haven’t been in any trouble” Mr Syeogen just assumes what Billy is like, he replies with “Shut up, lad, shut up before you drive me crackers”.
He treats Billy as if he is there just to boss and bully around, he thinks Billy is nothing but trouble. He judges Billy and thinks what he wants of Billy. If Billy speaks his mind Mr Syeogen tells him to “shut up”. Billy gets this sort of treatment of all the teachers in the school accept one, Mr Farthing his English teacher. Mr Farthing is the only one in the play who understands Billy and sees the real potential in him. He shows interest in Billy and is the only real positive adult figure in bills life. He asked Billy if he can come see his hawk.
When Billy gets picked on by McDowell Mr Farthing sticks up for Billy, “You’re a brave boyo, ant you, McDowell. He’s just about your size isn’t he”,” Your nothing but a bullyboy. A classic example of a bully, if it ant Casper, then its someone else like him” . he takes pity on Billy, and genially takes interest in Billy’s hawk (Kes). When he turns up to see his hawk Billy is surprise this is because no one else would have ever done that for him. Mr Farthing Says “Marvellous Casper, Brilliant, that was the most exciting I’ve ever seen”. He really sees Billy potential and that he deserves better.
There are only two other people in the play that treat Billy with a descent amount of respect but Mr farthing is the most important person in Billy’s life. Billy lives on a council estate in south Yorkshire in 1968. He is very poor and mainly has to look after him self. People’s expectations of Billy are pretty low. He is expected to go to a bad school get a job at 16 that will just get him through life just as most people are expected to do Where he lives it is very run down and nobody looks after the gardens or houses, “Most of the gardens were uncultivated squares of stamp soil, or overgrown with vegetation”.
But Billy is different, he keeps his shed very tidy and is completely different to the rest of the estate. It is clean, painted and well looked after, “The walls and ceiling were white washed and the floor had been sprinkled with a think layer of dry sand. Even the book he steels is well looked after. He dose not fit into his rough background, the real Billy comes out when he is on the field round the back with the nature and Kes.
He decides not to get a dead end job and at the end of the book it suggests that there are only good things to come “It stopped raining. The clouds were breaking up and stars showed in the spaces between them”. This shows that it now can’t get any worse and he can only get better and have a lifestyle more suited to him. By William Oliver Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Barry Hines section.