Joseph Hooper's character

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  • Joseph Hooper's character,
    • Background
      • He lives in a gloomy house called Warings which is in the Village of Derne,
      • He inherited Warings from his deceased father and he 'wouldn't live there until it was his' which shows they had a bad relationship,
      • His tall, thin figure echoes the gloomy feeling of Warings,
      • His wife died but he advertised for an 'informal housekeeper' to help with the domestic chores, and to provide company for himself and his son, Edmund,
      • He didn't like his wife as his relationship wasn't sexual enough an he speaks of a 'cold gap',
    • Character
      • His relationship with Edmund is poor. He feels he has 'failed... from the very beginning'
        • He feels like a 'stranger' in Edmund' room and an 'ineffectual man'
        • He says they 'should be close together'  which highlight Joseph's loneliness,
        • His poor relationship with his father and his 'unhappy memories' means he is less affectionate towards Edmund so it is as if the cycle has been repeated,
      • He feels frustrated that he has no control or obedience over Edmund,
        • He realises that maybe he should 'strike him', but he lacks confidence to assert himself-'he knew he would not' strike him,
        • His confidence to show obedience to Hooper increases throughout because of Mrs Kingshaw's presence,
      • He is not respected by Edmund as he is too weak and easily gives in to Hooper's demands,
      • He is very sexually frustrated and demanding,
        • With Mrs Kingshaw later in the novel, he feels 'excited' that a relationship with her give him 'pleasure' and 'satisfaction'
        • Hill reveals to us that he walks down streets looking 'for the pictures of breasts and mouths... outside the erotic cinemas
        • When he was with his old wife, he speaks of the 'elaborate courtesy of the double bed' and how their relationship was suffering a 'cold gap'
      • He blames his wife for his lack of control over Edmund and says she 'died without leaving a set of rules for him to follow.'
      • He seems to feel more at ease with Kingshaw than with Edmund and mistakenly believes he can 'understand' Kingshaw and they are 'quite good friends'
      • he is lonely and seeks friends and a relationship so he is quite ineffectual,
    • The readers feelings towards Mr Hooper,
      • We feel sympathy towards him as he has suffered an unhappy childhood and how it has affected forming a strong bond with his son,
      • We admire that he admits he has failed in some parts of life,
      • Feelings of sympathy and admiration and removed further in the book when he blames his wife for Edmund's behaviour and that he has given up on life,
      • We are annoyed that he didn't notice Kingshaw's suffering and sometimes ignored it on how he is growing up
      • We hate that he fails to address the seriousness of the situation and act on it so we think he is held responsible partly for his death,
    • Similarities between Mrs Kingshaw and Mr Hooper
      • Neither can communicate with their child or understand their feelings and don't even try to.
        • They are self indulgent and only care about themselves and what they want and what is best for them- not for their child,
        • This means neither parent gets on well with their child and are blind to their feelings
      • They enjoy each others company,
        • Mrs Kingshaw is always indulging herself in the arms of Mrs Hooper while she neglects Kingshaw's well being,
        • Mr Hooper is a lonely man and seeked the pleasure of Mrs Kingshaw's company on many occasions,
      • They both neglect their child,
        • Mrs Kingshaw thought to herself that she shouldn't think of her son as much but think about herself for once which is selfish and creates a gap in their relationship,
        • Mr Hooper can't control Edmund and blames he old wife for it which means Edmund lacks affection and love from his father so they were never close but 'strangers'


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