Essay on Sympathy in "A Kestrel for a Knave"

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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. The novel is about a boy named Billy Casper and it shows how he lives, his passions and how the schools fails him and his class academically. The novel also highlights and condemns bullying and recognises social …show more content…
This is because he is a more sympathetic person, with a more humane approach to others, than any adult Billy encounters. Mr Farthing is the only teacher who will actually listen to the boys, as the other teachers will only talk. He shows interest in Billy’s hobbies. He lets Billy talk instead of leaving him in the dark. He lets Billy talk to him like a psychiatrist; he understands Billy and tries to make him feel wanted. He goes round to see Billy out of school and takes interest in Billy and what he gets up to out of school. He tries to get Billy more confident in class, to speak out more and he also keeps a sharp eye on Billy because he does not want to see Billy being bullied. From the start of the lesson where he described, Mr Farthing is shown empathising with the boys who have been cared for, suggesting that he does not really approve of physical punishment. Mr Farthing can deal with issues himself, e.g. when he finds McDowell bullying Billy, Farthing does not need to call on Gryce, or any outside agency; he puts McDowell in his place himself, but without using the cane or being mean or unfair. When he is listening to Anderson’s story, he listens to the content and responds positively, rather than looking for corrections in his grammar or vocabulary. His classes are relaxed and informal which helps the kids feel its ok to speak out and talk. As Mr Farthing shows so much relaxation he makes sure that the class knows when they step out of line. Mr

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