Throughout the book up till chapter eight we have come across many battles between Hooper and Kingshaw. One of the battles the boys have is one which is who gains the power over the other. So in this chapter I will be analysing every element where either Kingshaw or Hooper wins the power over the other.
Hooper is the first to accumulate the power because he makes out that he has a father who dearly loves him and that he would buy anything for him and Kingshaw knows that his mother doesn’t feel the same about him. He also makes himself to be more knowledgeable than Kingshaw because he wins the discussion on the prices of watches can be more than fifty pounds but Kingshaw does not believe a watch can cost more than fifty pounds. The next discussion though Kingshaw wins as he demonstrates his understanding on nature to prove that smoke kills midge bites and it is not the fire that makes the midges depart.
Kingshaw wins control as he picks up a long wide stick thinking to hit Hooper but he resists since Hooper said, “You’d better try and not hit me”, after his eyes had widened after Kingshaw had picked up the stick. This shows that Hooper was frightened of Kingshaw and felt vulnerable other wise he wouldn’t have said such a comment. Hooper though fights back and wins control of the power as he irritates Kingshaw by saying that, “Has your mother gone after a lot of people” and following on from that comment he says “That’s why you came here. You didn’t come think it was anything else, did you? She wants to be married to my father. He’s rich”.
Kingshaw is furious by the comments Hooper makes and he wishes that he had hit Hooper with the stick he had picked up earlier. Kingshaw can hardly defend the comments and can only come up with a feeble remark of, ” Liar, liar, liar. Your father isn’t anything, she doesn’t even like you father. She hates him.” Hooper continues to frustrate Hooper by making many statements about why his mother wants to be married with his father. Hooper is now firmly in control and Kingshaw feels now hatred for his mother and he blames his fathers death for having to move around peoples houses and not having enough money.
Kingshaw regains power after Hooper is having nightmares and he is whimpering in his sleep and talking about his mother. Kingshaw try’s to wake Hooper by quietly speaking to Hooper but because Hooper continued to sob, Kingshaw hits Hooper across the face with the palm of his hand, this causes Hooper to awaken though he was oblivious to the fact that he had been hit by Kingshaw. This scenario enables Kingshaw to have control, as Hooper is vulnerable because he is whimpering and he stated his head is hurting.
Kingshaw continues to build his power as Hooper later pleads with him not to leave him alone and go away to look for the way out. Hooper is shown as frightened individual. He uses lines such as, “You’re not to go away and leave me.” To plead with Kingshaw. Later though Kingshaw succumbed all the power he had built up as he says to Hooper, “I wouldn’t have really hit you”, and also “look you needn’t worry, Hooper, we’ve both got to stay here till they come for us”. These two lines by Kingshaw let Hooper have all the power and Hooper ends the chapter with the power as he began it.