In what ways does Hill employ animals - alive or dead - to develop the narrative and our understanding of the characters?

Essay by cambridge_student November 2014

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Symbolism is a huge part in every novel out there, especially in I' m the King of the Castle. The way Susan Hill expresses most of her symbolism as the story develops is through animals. Susan Hill mentions many animals throughout I'm the King of the Castle. From the crows to the moths and to the dying fish, symbolism behind animals plays a very important part of the novel. This way, Susan Hill gives us a better understanding of the characters and the narrative, like what animals represent who from the story and the fears that Kingshaw has which tells us plenty of his character.

The first animal that Susan Hill mentions in I'm the King of the Castle is the crow. The crow is shown when Kingshaw wants to escape Warings, the house in which he is staying with Hooper, and runs of into the cornfield. The crow stars flying over Kingshaw and as Susan Hill mentions in the novel; "Kingshaw could see the feathers of its head, shinning blank in between the butter-coloured cornstalks.

Then it rose, and circled, and came down again, this time not quite landing, but flapping about his head, beating its wings and making a sound like flat leather pieces slapped together." This quote is really important for our understanding because not only is Susan Hill using imagery to draw a picture in our heads of how the crow is tormenting Kingshaw, but she is also using the crow to represent Hooper. The crow is teasing and tormenting Kingshaw just like Hooper does. Also the crow is being protective over the cornfield and how Kingshaw is in his territory. This is just how Hooper feels over Warings, which in this case is represented by the cornfield. Hooper, in this case the crow, is...