Discus the relevance of the novel's title.
Thinking of the phrase "I"m the king of the castle" brings back memories of childish games and friendly dominance. As a child you have vanquished your foe and gained superiority over the rest of your kingdom. The plight for this feeling of control is the main theme of Susan Hill's "I"m the king of the castle," and is the fuel which drives this tragic tale of two isolated children's exploration into the nature of cruelty and the power of evil.
The book is set in the 1960's in the town of Derne, Dorset, but the main focus lies in "Warings", an estate where Edmund Hooper and his father live. Warings is an isolated country house with great grounds surrounding it, including a vast wood known as "Hang Wood". The different settings show off the two main characters" strengths and weaknesses, and definitely are a huge part of the quest for superiority, with Edmund having the immediate home advantage. .
Edmund Hooper and Charles Kingshaw are eleven-year-old boys. Charles" mother Helena has been hired at the Warings estate as an informal housekeeper, but deep down it seems that she is just there to give Joseph Hooper his desired companionship. Both Helena and Joseph are widowed, have recovered from their loss, and now are in search for what they used to have. It looks like their falling in love is inevitable.
Charles" arrival was vastly unwelcome for Edmund from the start, as Edmund made obvious by dropping him a note when he first arrives, reading "I DIDN"T WANT YOU TO COME HERE." This short sentence makes it perfectly clear that the boys wouldn"t be friends immediately, and are most likely to be enemies. This concept of invading someone's home and trying to take it over has connotations with medieval times of castles and knights. Edmund feels threatened by the new arrivals; "It's my house", he thinks, "it is private, I got here first. Nobody should come here.