We can see from the beginning of the book that WilliamÃÂs mother is an overly religious woman given to beating her son for imaginary sins that he commits. Mrs Beech is extraordinarily strict with Willie and if he does something that she doesnÃÂt like she beats him strongly with a belt.
William had been all his life abused by his mother and had become a sad-scared, malnourished child until he arrives to Weirwold, where he finds a new happier world.
It soon becomes clear to Mr Tom that Willie had been cruelly treated by his mother. An example of it is when Mr Tom sees Willie under the bed and not on top as he should be. ÃÂWillie crawled under the bed and curled up into a ballÃÂ William had never slept in a bed until he arrives to this village. Another evidence of the cruel treatment he received from his mother is when she sends the belt for WillieÃÂs carer to beat him with.
This led us to understand that all the injuries Willie had, had been caused by the regularly beats of his mother. Moreover by her abuses, Willie had become a timid unconfident child, but thanks to Mr Tom he changes to become a cheerful, talented child.
When he has to go back to London because his mother is ill, he is hopeful she will be nice with him and will be proud that he has learned to write and read and will definitely love his drawing, but this glow of hope quickly vanishes. Mrs Beech continues being the unkind, mean woman he was. When Willie offers himself to carry his mumÃÂs bag she answers him in a very harsh way ÃÂWillie felt his heart sinking and the spark of hope that he had held was fast...