The Battle for control – I’m The King of the Castle

Hooper in control

Kinghsaw in control

‘Didn’t want you to come.


Fight over window.

Kingshaw resists temptation to push Hooper down stairs


Crow attacks Kingshaw


Hooper puts crow on Kingshaw’s bed


Kingshaw doesn’t mention crow

Hooper locks Kingshaw in Red Room


Kingshaw finds room

Hooper finds room and discovers Kingshaw’s plan


Kingshaw runs away, feels at peace

Hooper turns up


The deer – Kingshaw knows more about them

Is surprised that Hooper has never seen one even in a zoo

Hooper takes lead in tracking it


Thunderstorm Hooper insists Kingshaw look after him

Hooper leads as they follow the stream


Kingshaw builds a fire


Hooper throws a tantrum, Kingshaw hits him.


Kingshaw tries to go for help

Kingshaw comes back to find Hooper in stream.

Chooses to revive him.


Hooper has nightmare – Kingshaw hits him again


Hooper frightened of being left extracts promise from Kingshaw not to leave him. Sobs.

Found – Hooper blames Kinghshaw. Adults do not believe


Kingshaw’s impassioned plea.


Kingshaw is told he will go to school with Edmund


Hooper locks Kingshaw in shed – Kingshaw has nightmare


Kingshaw climbs castle.


Hooper falls off – ends up in hospital


Kingshaw meets Fielding

Hooper plays with Kingshaw’s model and destroys it


Mr and Mrs decide to get married


Trip to circus – Kingshaw sick


Fielding comes over and Hooper takes


Kingshaw burns Edmund’s battle charts

Hooper gives Kingshaw note – something will happen to you


Kingshaw commits suicide




Comment: Hooper is amoral, Kingshaw is the moral one he is powerless by his own choice against Hooper’s evil because he will not descend to Hooper’s level.

Comparison with Jesus Christ: Kingshaw rejects three temptations to kill Hooper and ultimately sacrifices himself for his mother’s happiness.

In what ways is the title ‘I’m the King Of the Castle’ an appropriate one?

Look at the incident at Leydell Castle p 147 – 155

What happens to Kingshaw?
His confidence?
His feelings – perspective / feels generous towards Hooper
Exulting – depressed / deflated p 150 / showing off Hooper is right / realisation of Hooper’s
weakness in comparison to his strength for a change / desire for success / escape p 150-151 / sure of himself ‘of his own judgement’ / up here I’m the king, ‘any power he acquired would be only temporary.’ p 153
What is it about the place that the author describes that is so different to Warings and its surrounds?
His hope – – hopes dashed
His thoughts
His use of language – how does the author evoke the childishness of the scene? (Make you realise children are saying this?)
After Hooper falls – ‘king, King, king of the castle’ p 162

What happens to Hooper?
Lack of confidence in this environment
Unable to let Kingshaw ‘win’
Blames Kingshaw
Afraid of Kingshaw’s reactions – – falls


Other incidents in the story

Hooper has the upper hand and each time Kingshaw shows a weakness Hooper exploits it remorselessly e.g.
Crow – crow on bed p 30-38 Kingshaw’s fear
Rabbit – Hooper derides idea of souls – maggots p 86-88 Kingshaw’s disgust
Hooper hurts himself – pressurises Kingshaw into looking after him p 111 K’s honourableness
Then blames him for hurting him p127 Kingshaw’s sense of justice
Hooper finds out about the change of school and threatens him p 143 Removes his only security
K borrows the jigsaw – H somehow knows it p 185 Hooper’s superior’knowledge’
K hides in shed – Hooper locks him in p 136 Kingshaw’s lack of physical power

Yet any time Kingshaw actually has the upper hand he lets Hooper take it away from him or refuses to exploit it himself e.g.
On the stairs at the beginning p 27
At the pool in the wood when he could have left Hooper to drown p 104 para 2
At the castle when he is tempted to push Hooper off p 153-154

Or just events when Hooper lets Kingshaw know that it is his house and Kingshaw is just a temporary visitor e.g.
The scrap over the window p 21
The interrogation over his father’s status and finances p20-22
The whirlwind tour of the house p26-27
The Red room and knowing Kingshaw would hate it p38-41
The doll room p 45 line 1, p 48 para 3, p 53


Questions to consider:

  • What is the title a reference to?
  • How do children use it?
  • Although Hooper never says it, does he think it?
  • When Kingshaw thinks it what does he also realise?
  • Does he have the temperament to be the ‘King’?
  • So is the title appropriate?