The human instincts that are illustrated are, the desire to have their own home and space, where they are free to do what they like, and also to acquire territory. If you take a look at almost any history text book, you will see that wars dominate. The whole of human history is riddled with wars. Wars have become landmarks in the history of civilised human society. All these wars, all these lives lost, stem from one thing, the instinct among humans to acquire territory and the instinct among humans to defend and not to back down. Not to back down, from invaders, persecution or oppression. Susan Hill demonstrates this in her characters, Kingshaw and Hooper , in Im the king of the Castle. At first we read about Hooper. We read about his family history, and about Warings, a house which is part of the Hooper family history.
Hooper didnt think much of the house physically. It was an ordinary house, he thought. However, we go on to learn that there were aspects which he did like. the idea it was his, the idea of family history, pleased him This statement reflects a lot about Hooper. It shows that he likes owning things, he may like the feeling of being superior, ruling over places, having his own home, his own territory. This is shown , in his reaction , when he learns that Kingshaw is coming to stay. It is my house, he thought , ¦I got here first . Hoopers territorial instincts are revealed, when he immediately resists the idea of Kingshaw coming to stay in his house and shows a dislike for him , even though he has not met him- thus starting a conflict situation from the beginning, a typical human reaction.
Hooper views Kingshaw as a threat- a person who could take from him. Kingshaw finds a piece of paper, upon which was written in bold capital letters . I DIDNT WANT YOU TO COME HERE . From here on , Hopper treats Kingshaw with disdain and resentment. We learn that Hooper confronts his unwanted guest , Hooper said, why have you come here? By saying this Hooper strongly suggests to Kingshaw that he is not wanted . Not only did he treat Kingshaw as an intruder into his house, Hooper also wanted to assert a superior position as the king of his castle . When my father dies,¦ this house will belong to me, I shall be master' The statements by Hooper to Kingshaw shows an clear relevance to the title of the book because effectively, Hooper is saying Im the king of the castle.
Im the king of the castle ,your the dirty rascal this is also a game played by children. Hooper , sometimes seems as though he is playing games with Kingshaw, almost like he is using him as a toy, or scoring points every time Kingshaw is made to feel bad by him. He tries to find different ways of insulting Kingshaw, putting him down, scaring him, putting him in situations he doesnt like, and generally making his life unpleasant. We see a number of examples in which Hooper succeeds in doing this. In Chapter X we read about how Hooper alleges to Joseph Hooper, Hoopers father, and Kingshaws mother, Helena Kingshaw, that Kingshaw was to blame for his injury. Hooper claimed that Kingshaw pushed him while they were in the woods together. It was Kingshaw, it was Kingshaw, he pushed me in the water.
This is in fact completely untrue. His bruised head was caused by an accident on his part. By saying this, Hooper is trying to make Kingshaw feel unwanted. This is one example of the tactics he uses in the game he is playing with Hooper. An other example of how Hooper scores points over Kingshaw, is by making him feel inferior. This is done right throughout the book. In Chapter VI, Hooper talks about Kingshaws mother , as a servant to Hoopers father, that Kingshaw is simply the son of someone who works for his father. He even says she [Kingshaws mother] has to do what my father says, and that means you have to do what I say That would either make Kinshaw angry, or feel inferior, probably a bit of both. Hooper would definitely have felt that he had got one over Kingshaw in any case.
The title , is also relevant because we also know that Hooper behaviour reveals his concept of territory and possession is strong. He expects to succeed to his fathers house , after his fathers death, and as owner of the house, he will expect to be obeyed and that people will do as he says. Hooper also enjoyed drawing up plans for battles to defend his territory, for example, we learn that in Hoppers bedroom , the battle charts with its coloured pins and flags and symbols , was propped up on its easel. On the table were Hoopers long lists of regiments.., .
We are reminded again that ownership of property , makes people like Hooper feel important, like a king in his castle, ready to defend at a moments notice. Conflicts and wars often start with fights by kings over the ownership of castles and territory . In conclusion the title of the book , remained relevant throughout the story ,through to the end , when Hooper eventually got the better of Kingshaw , who in the end took his own life. Even then Hooper saw this incident as a triumph, just as a king in his castle might do , if he had won a victorious struggle. We read that Hooper discovers Kingshaw had died , and then Hooper thought suddenly , it is because of me , and a spurt of triumph went through him .