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    Barry Hines Essay

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    Mr Sugden shouts at him for not having his kit, he doesn’t understand that Billy and his family are poor and cant afford to buy his kit. From this Mr Sugden bounces a ball on Billy’s head ‘Mr Sugden bounces the ball on Billy’s head’ This is all unnecessary but it’s the only way Mr Sugden can feel powerful which is a shame. I also believe that the reason he bullies the pupils is because he’s insecure about himself and feels that’s the only way he can feel good about himself. Mr Sugden treats Billy unfairly compared to the others ‘Well get down then, before I come and make you red hot! ‘

    And doesn’t seem to listen to Billy or the others. Later on in the game a dog comes onto the pitch and Mr Sugden thinks that violence is the key to getting the dog off the pitch ‘Go and fetch half a dozen cricket bats from the game store’ This shows that Mr Sugden doesn’t have a high tolerance level and believes that that shouting and using violence will get him respect but it only creates a barrier between pupil and him as most children are too scared to disagree. I think that’s why he treats Billy the way he does as he will answer Mr Sugden back but not in a cheeky manner ‘ You don’t need cricket bats to do that, sir’

    Mr sugden is very narrow minded and if some one has a different opinion to him then violence will change their mind. Mr Sugden is sarcastic towards Billy ‘What’s the matter Casper are you scared of the ball’ Mr Sugden’s need to humiliate Billy reminds me of Macdowell in the yard. There’s no real difference between the two. The main event that stuck in my mind was when Sugden made Billy take a cold shower because he missed saving a goal ‘The cold water made Billy gasp’ he also had three boys to block the entrance so he couldn’t escape ‘Hey up, shift let me out, you rotten dogs! ‘

    Mr Sugden took away any dignity that Billy may have had when he did this; the whole class was laughing at him. I believe that this scene would have made the audience want to go and grab Billy out of the shower and put Mr Sugden in it. The boys who are blocking the entrance begin to think they should let him out, however Mr Sugden disagrees ‘Can we let him out now, sir? ‘ ‘He’ll get pneumonia’ I though the imagery of the shower scene was very dramatic and showed just how far Mr Sugden would go. This scene really moved me and I felt sorry for Billy in having to be put through that experience.

    The scene with the youth employment reminded me how much his mother didn’t care for him or his future as there was a boy sitting next to him with his mother who was nagging him about his tie ‘An’ straighten you tie. ‘ The boy wished his mother would stop nagging ‘I wish you’d stop nagging’ Whereas Billy would appreciate it if his mother gave the time to nag him because to Billy it would show him that his mother cared. The first thing the employment officer said to Billy was ‘Well come in, lad, if your coming, I haven’t got all day. ‘ This doesn’t set a good impression or any mutual respect between Billy and the officer.

    Billy expresses an interest in working in an office ‘I’d be all right working in an office, wouldn’t I? I’ve a job to read and write’ Then at the end of the meeting the officer hands him a leaflet to read which shows that he wasn’t paying attention to Billy and didn’t really care. Billy’s skills go unrecognised. Overall there were similarities between Billy’s home life and school life as they were both just as hard and he was mis-judged. However there was one main difference, which was someone, did care about Billy at school, Mr Farthering, who gave him time and attention.

    This helped Billy’s confidence and gave him a friend to confide in. Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. Billy identifies with her silent strength and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can. Kes is the only thing in life that makes him want to exist in this cruel society that he has been bought up in. He relies on Kes as his escapism to get away from the world. Kes has become a close friend of Billy’s, His only friend, he confides in him about school and home ‘He’s allus after me … allus has been.

    Like that day last summer when I fetched you, he was after me than’ When talking to Kes its like the build up of emotions has burst and he lets out what he is feeling freely. This is unusual for Billy has he finds it hard to express what he’s feeling. Even though Billy doesn’t receive any love or affection he still knows how to give it to others which shows that his mother and brother haven’t ruined his emotional status completely. The writer was very descriptive when writing about Kes and Billy to show the reader how immersed he is with her ‘The hawk flapped her wings and fanned her tail, her claws still gripping the glove’.

    Throughout the story Billy only seems happy when he’s with his bird. Kes is his only enjoyment in life, his only luxury. It seems that when he’s with Kes to him its like living in rich mans world for once. He feels safe and secure. In a sense I feel that the bird is seen as an image of Billy’s dad because when Billy found out that Kes was dead he had flashbacks of his dad. It infers that losing Kes was like the loss he felt when his dad was no longer around ‘Where are you goin’ dad? ‘

    The writer compares the loss of the bird and Billy’s dad in detail and uses flashbacks to show the reader the comparison between the two. The language Hines uses creates a more realistic image of Billy and his life. He uses slang ‘shit’ to make it more personalised and to make the reader feel as though they are they’re with Billy through the story. Hines uses detail when writing about Billy’s more happily times like when he is with Kes and when he refers to his dad and the ‘tall story’. Hines uses a Yorkshire accent to make it more real ‘t’day’, which helps create a more defined image of the characters.

    The whole novel is based on just one day in Billy’s life Hines does this by using flashbacks to show in depth what the characters are like so that the reader has a better understanding of what the character’s personalities really like. Hines uses short sentence to create effect and emphasise the normality of Billy’s daily routine ‘Billy left the shop. ‘ Therefore I conclude that living in poverty does have an effect on peoples attitudes and how they respond to others, the harshness of their lives portray in their behaviour to others. This book really shows how much teaching has changed, I believe for the better, since the 1960’s.

    As in the school life we see in this book the teachers enjoy the power and humiliating the children, whereas nowadays most teachers aim in their career is to make a difference and to help as much as they can. I believe that Hines shows how harsh and cold life can be and can make us more fortunate people appreciate life more and not take food and people’s kindness for granted.

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    Barry Hines Essay. (2017, Nov 23). Retrieved from

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