Sample exam questions on ‘I’m The King of the Castle’

  1. Do you think Edmund Hooper is completely evil, or do you feel sympathy for him at any point in the novel?
    You should write about:
    1. What he does in the novel and how he treats Kingshaw // His upbringing and his relationship with his father
    2. How you respond to him at different points in the novel,
    3. The way the write makes you feel and think about him at these moments.
  2. Write about the ways in which you think Mrs Kingshaw and Mr Hoper contribute to Kingshaw’s death.
    You should write about:
    1. What sort of people they are // Their actions which lead to the death of Kingshaw
    2. How they respond to the hostility between Hooper and Kingshaw
    3. How the writer influences the way you feel about them.
  3. What part does Fielding play in the story?
    You should write about:
    1. Why is he important to the story line //False hope and hopes dashed
    2. How does the writer use this section to build up the reader’s and Kingshaw’s hopes?
    3. How different are the characters Hooper and Fielding and why this difference is important.
    4. How different is Fielding’s home life?
  4. The incident at Leydell Castle gives false hope to Kingshaw and to the reader. What happens and why does it not enable Kingshaw to escape from Hooper’s influence.
    You should write about:
    1. How we see Kingshaw’s confidence //The differences in the boys reactions to each other
    2. Kingshaw’s feelings straight after the accident
    3. The renewal of hope for Kingshaw and the renewal of hostilities immediately upon his return.
  5. Kingshaw is doomed from the very first moment he sets foot in Warings. Do you think this is true? Discuss using evidence to support your answer.
    You should write about:
    1. The different personalities of the two boys // The parents increasing involvement with each other
    2. The techniques the author uses to raise our hopes and dash them again
    3. The use of weather and setting as a technique to raise the tension in the novel.
  6. In what ways is the title ‘I’m the King of the Castle’ an appropriate one?
  7. ‘I’m the King of the Castle’ is about isolation and lack of love. No-one in the book is loved or gives love.
    1. How far do you agree with this statement? Write about the relationships in the novel and the ways in which Susan Hill presents them.
  8. Susan Hill consciously uses irony to great effect throughout the novel. Explain. (This is an advanced question!)
    You should write about:
    1. When she uses irony //What her purpose is e.g. insight into character
    2. How it is used to intensify the dramatic tension
    3. How it is used to manipulate the readers’ emotions.
  9. To what extent does Kingshaw view his death as a ‘sacrifice’?
    You should write about:
    1. His temptations //His inability to stoop to Hooper’s level
    2. His sense of moral responsibility // His sense of duty to his mother.
  10. What do you think is the importance of creatures in the novel? Write about two or three incidents where creatures are important and explain:
    1. What is shown about the characters by their response to the creatures
    2. What is the significance of creatures in the novel as a whole
    3. How the writer uses creatures as symbols or to convey ideas.
  11. Remind yourself of the first part of the novel where Hooper’s grandfather dies. Why does Susan hill start the novel with an account of the death of Hooper’s grandfather?
    You should write about:
    1. What is shown about Hooper and Mr Hooper in the passage
    2. How the passage prepares us for what comes later
    3. The writer’s skill in creating atmosphere.


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