Mrs Kingshaw's Characters

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  • Mrs Kingshaw's character
    • Background
      • She is a widow after her husband died in the Battle of Britain,
      • She has struggled financially,
      • Her and Kingshaw are used to middle class existence and she is keen to be able to live like this,
      • She is a proud lady and tries to remain respectable by taking care of her appearance and finding work,
      • She accepts at job at Warings as an 'informal housekeeper' to support her and her son,
      • She and Kingshaw have lived in various houses and hotels and is attracted to the stability Warings can offer.
    • Character/ Personality
      • It is clear from early on in the novel that she is more concerned about keeping up with appearances even at the expense of Kingshaw's happiness,
        • When she arrives, she is wearing a suit and her main concerns are that it might be 'too smart' and she is keen Kingshaw should make a good impression by helping with the suitcases,
      • She is selfish,
        • She ignored the tension between Edmund and Kingshaw and forced them to play together and she believes it will 'cement their friendship',
      • she is concerned with superficial things,
        • She 'threw herself into planning the cocktail party' whilst ignoring Charles' suffering,
      • She puts herself first,
        • When Mr Hooper points out that the boys will be left alone while they go to London, she is quick to point out 'it will be an adventure'.
        • This makes her oblivious to Charles' desperation,
      • She is self centred and keen to keep up the appearance of happy family and please Mr Hooper,
        • She takes Edmund's side when they return from Hang Wood and believes Edmund's lies over her own Son.
        • She is only concerned about how 'ashamed Kingshaw makes her feel and how she won't favour her son over Edmund to please Mr Hooper,
      • She is unable to relate to her son
        • When Kingshaw tells her about how Edmund has been bullying her and his deep hatred for his, she attempts to trivialise his deep feelings-'Oh that is a wicked, wicked way to talk'
      • Insensitivity at agreeing to marry Mr Hooper and putting Charles' unhappiness to the back of her mind,
    • The readers' feelings towards Mrs Kingshaw
      • Hill writes her as a very unattractive character as there is little of anything to show she puts Charles' interests before her own,
        • Is she was so determined to give him the best start in life, she would have found an alternative when she realised how unhappy he was,
      • We feel angry that he has suffered because of her selfishness and how she has failed her son,
        • We are told she is a cold and distant woman and has rarely shown physical affection,
        • Kingshaw remembers, how there 'was no warmth or comfort in her embrace.
      • We are ashamed she doesn't even realise she was part of the reason Kingshaw killed himself,
        • She doesn't realise or admits that she has limited understanding of Charles' development and his needs,
    • Mrs Kingshaw as a mother
      • Beginning
        • To Kingshaw, she pushes Charles and makes him uncomfortable and makes him feel like he has a debt to pay to Mr Hooper,
        • To Edmund, they don't really have a bond and just accept one another's presence and doesn't notice his bullying,
      • Middle
        • To Kingshaw, she becomes so pre-occupied with MR Hooper that she forgets about him and she becomes obnoxious to his feelings,
        • To Edmund, she realises that if she is a good mother to him, she will get closer to Mr Hooper,
      • End
        • To Kingshaw, she starts using her son as a scapegoat and blames everything on him and turns a blind eye to the facts so Mr Hooper doesn't think she is favouring her son,
        • To Edmund, she pays mor attention to him and almost smothers him and this is used against Kingshaw by Edmund and means she is closer to Mr Hooper,
  • To Kingshaw, she pushes Charles and makes him uncomfortable and makes him feel like he has a debt to pay to Mr Hooper,

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