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“KES” The Play Essay

The play ‘Kes’ portrays the life of a fifteen years old, Billy Casper, who lives with is mother, Mrs. Casper, and his step-brother Jud. The play occurs during and after Billy’s last days at school. It shows the way Billy was feeling toward his hawk, and the way he was affected by it. The play takes different stages to build up the plot, Billy notices the hawk in the farms near by his house, getting impressed by the way it lives, catches its food, feeds its youngs. Billy starts to have thoughts about having a hawk as a pet or as an animal that he would care after, and keep for himself.

The story takes place in the surroundings of Billy’s life: his house; newsagent, as he works there for Mr. Porter; Mac’s house, as the play provides the sense that he is the only friend he has, apart from the argument and fights they have had in the school; the public library as Billy has nicked a book about falconry that had helped him to deal with his hawk and provided him the knowledge he needed to take good care of his hawk; the school that Billy attends, as the play takes some parts in the school and as he faces some trouble there; and some local shops that he passes by.

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Billy is not welcomed by the people he lives with as it shows in his behavior with them, his attitude towards them, and their behavior and the way they treat him. His mother at the beginning of the play accused him of having fags, even thought she sounded like not being sure, and then she asked him for several things to get her before going to his school. I think due to her accusing him of having fags he refused to get her the cigarettes and other things she asked for, giving an excuse that he will be late for school.

Some days later Billy goes to Mac’s house, as he needed someone to go with to the birds nest, watching them fly, land, feed and look after there kids. Mac’s mother mistreated him by telling him ”bugger off you little sod”, as a reward of throwing a hand full of dirt at the window after she refused to wake up Mac giving reasons that its still early for him to hang out.

Billy and his brother Jud don’t live a good relationship, it goes on at the beginning of the play, as Jud refuses to set the alarm for Billy, he drains the milk pot so he wont leave any for Billy, being pessimistic with Billy Jud tries to convince him that he will only find work down the pit after he finishes school, for that Billy eats Jud’s ‘snap’ that Jud has prepared for work.

But Billy tries not to think about working there as it shows from the way he was talking to the teacher when he was offering a job down the pit, but Jud keep on telling him that he can’t work down the pit either because he cant read and write or either because he is not tough enough to work there as he calls him ”a weedy little bugger”.

As things were go on good with his work boss Mr. Porter in his newsagent shop until Billy shakes the ladder that Mr.Porter was standing on, on purpose that made Mr. Porter calls him ”You clumsy young bugger”. Mr. Porter was quite worried that Billy might not be able to deliver all his papers at time, as his brother Jud have taken his bike, and that might cause him some loss in his shop’s profit if Billy delivers the papers later than he is supposed. I learn that these people treat him generally in the same way, but with a difference from one to the other.

I think Billy likes to have conversations with people even though he don’t know them, as when he was delivering his papers in the early morning, after leaving Mr. Porter’s newsagent, and saw the milkman who started an conversation with Billy about having something to deliver his papers with even if it’s a ”Third class riding which is better than first class walking, as the milkman thinks, but according to Billy that is no good as he says that it do no more than five miles per hour, and that he can do faster on a kids scooter.

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