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Comparing The Ways In Which Billy Casper And Jane Eyre Are Presented As Outsiders

2719 words - 11 pages

Comparing the Ways in Which Billy Casper and Jane Eyre are Presented as Outsiders

There are many similarities that can be drawn when comparing these
characters; both are presented as outsiders, have family problems, no
respectable status and are bullied by peers and elders. With all this
repression it would be instinct for Jane and Billy to try their utmost
to conform to expectations but the writers create quite the opposite.
Both characters are individuals and, at times, defiant and outspoken.
Yet amongst all these similarities there are many differences; Jane
Eyre is a classic novel written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847 and Billy
Casper was created by Barry Hines more than a century later, in 1968.

Both characters are very much presented as outsiders, so their
relationships with other characters, generally, are not of friendship
or companionship, rather relationships of association. However there
are friendships that develop through the story. Billy's friendship is
evident from the title of the book: "A Kestrel for a Knave." Jane
Eyre, on the other hand, finds solace in another girl at Lowood called
Helen Burns. Later when Helen falls ill, Jane finds friendship in a
girl named Mary Ann Wilson and they both spends pleasant times with
Miss Temple, a teacher.

Originally Billy spent time, causing trouble, with a group of lads
from his class. The lads did not seem over interested with Billy, this
is evident from their actions and speech; when they said they were
going nesting with Billy, they didn't turn up, leaving Billy on his
own. In this way the author presents Billy as an outsider. In class,
after Billy had been asked to tell a story about himself, the lads all
talked to Mr Farthing, the teacher, about Billy, yet again depicting
him as an outsider. Billy finds a kestrel and rears it, Kes, as Billy
calls her, becomes a very close friend and Billy finds himself
consuming all his spare time with her. This presents Billy as an
outsider from several viewpoints; he is no longer spending time with
the other lads and is alone. What he is instead doing is raising a
kestrel which is a very unusual thing to be doing, especially when
peers are hanging around getting in to trouble with the police. It has
a subconscious effect in the readers mind; because Billy is doing
something unexpected and unusual, it singles him out as different.
Billy's relationship with his relatives, mum and brother, are not warm
either; they frequently ask Billy to do jobs, or errands, for them,
without once considering the effects it may have on Billy. On one
occasion Billy was left a note to put a bet on for Jud, his brother.
After consulting men at the bookmakers Billy decided there was not a
high chance of Jud winning, so he went out and spent the money on
himself. Unfortunately the particular horse did win, so,...

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