Key Scenes

Quick revise
Opening of the Novel
  • Both inside and outside of Billy’s house is presented as dark, cold, grey and miserable.
  • The writer uses pathetic fallacy (where the weather reflects the mood of the scene) to emphasise how miserable life is.
The Assembly
  • The whole scene is comic.
  • Mr Gryce shouts at the boys and is presented comically as an angry figure who loses his temper at the slightest thing.
  • He is one of many adults in the novel who have no care for the young.
  • No one is interested in the prayers or the hymn.
  • Billy day dreams about looking after his kestrel, showing what is actually relevant to him.
  • Billy will be punished for daydreaming in assembly, showing the violence in the school system at the time.
The Football Match / Games Lesson
  • The comic centre piece of the novel
  • Mr Sugden is a comic character and can’t be taken too seriously.
  • He uses big words but can’t explain them.
  • He pretends the match is a game between Liverpool and Manchester United, showing he is more immature than a lot of the boys.
  • He bullies Casper and others into playing.
  • He is a bad sport when they lose at the end, cheats by awarding his own team a penalty, scoring it himself and blames anyone but himself for their defeat.
  • Many of the boys are narrated as stereotypes and not their real names to show how discriminating games lessons could be e.g. ‘two fat boys’
  • The boys see through him though, calling him names.
  • His true vindictive nature comes when he makes Billy take a cold shower.
  • The boys find it funny at first but soon lose interest and the scene ends with Billy as a figure of pity and Sugden as an evil fool.

This video showcases the scene from the film

Flying Kes
  • When Billy flies Kes, he is totally happy.
  • It shows his skills as he knows all the technical terminology.
  • He speaks to Kes gently and is rewarded by a positive response from the bird.
The Death of Kes
  • This is a cruel twist to the novel and takes away all sense of hope.
  • It is linked back to the disappearance of Billy’s father and his mother’s affair with another man.
  • It seems Billy will just be another victim of the cruel world he lives in.
  • Billy retreats to the cinema which is boarded up and closed, showing the decline of the society he lives in.
  • It is a dark depressing ending, reflecting the life he leads.
  • There is a feeling that he will wake up the next day and all we be the same as before.
The Head's Office
  • The scene in the headmaster's office shows the head talking at the boys and not to them.
  • He rants about how no one cares anymore, but it is he who shows the uncaring attitude as he is unwilling to listen to the boys and when the inncoent boy comes in he doesn't give him the chance to explain why he is there.
  • The head teacher is not interested in the welfare of the children in his care.