Billy Casper is a mischievous young boy. This is expressed in the title of the book, ” A kestrel for a knave. ” Billy leads a lonely and miserable life because his family does not love him and just think of him as a nuisance and a liability. His mother and his brother Jud are not interested in him at all. They are both more interested in their social life and their appearance. Billy gets the kestrel about a third of the way through the book because he feels that he needs someone to love and to show affection to.
I think that the kestrel symbolizes Billy’s love for his father. Throughout the book we see this but especially in the “Tall Story” we see Billy’s love for his father when he writes, ” Jud’s going to the army and he’s not coming back but your dad’s coming back instead. ” The kestrel is Billy’s opportunity to express his love to someone. The first example where we see that the kestrel plays and important part in Billy’s life is in pgs 33-35. These pages explain the scene where Billy goes to the library to get a book out on falconry. ” I want a book on falconry. ”
From the story we can tell that Billy is the not the kind of person who would normally go to the library, but he has become so interested in the kestrel that this interest has driven him to the library. When Billy arrives home, Jud makes fun of him, telling him that he can not read and has no chance at all of training a kestrel, ” Train it! Tha couldn’t train a flea! ” Billy is so determined to learn about the kestrel that he ignores Jud and carries on reading the book. From this we can see that the kestrel is having a positive influence on Billy and is encouraging him to learn. In pages 64-70, Billy is in Mr.Farthing’s lesson learning about “Fact and Fiction.
” Billy is made to stand up and talk about something. Mr. Farthing persuades Billy to talk about his hawk. Even though Billy is normally very self-conscious and too embarrassed to speak in front of the whole class he gave a ten-minute talk to the class on his hawk and how he had trained it. He told the class everything he had done with the kestrel since he had got it from “Monastery Farm. ” This talk shows us how much Billy has learned about the kestrel. The Kestrel has helped to boost his self-confidence and it has also encouraged Billy to learn.