Kestrel he might lose her. In eventually losing
Kestrel for a knave In KES, the scarred landscape of the South Yorkshire coalfield is a silent but powerful protagonist. The local pit lies at the heart of the community and dominates the lives of all that live close to it. In South Yorkshire in the 1960s, many families in pit villages were dependent on coal mining for a living. Some miners like Jud in KES were regarded with fear and to compensate for long shifts and dangerous working conditions spent a lot of their spare time in social clubs and pubs.
Facing an uncertain future on leaving school, Billy is faced with the very real prospect of becoming an apprentice miner.In training Kes, Billy not only discovers affection but also escapes, albeit temporarily, his immediate surroundings. In his interview with the Youth Employment Officer, he makes it very clear that he has no intention of working at the local pit. He repeatedly tells the Youth Employment Officer: How important do you think the symbol of flight is in the play? I think it’s very important. What the play is about, is that everyone has the potential to fly, and how that is realised is very dependent on the opportunities that people are given through their home lives and their experiences at school.In a way Billy embodies Kes on stage.
There are lots of descriptions about him running and at times being physically free. His sense of flight is caged in at school and in particular in the PE changing room. In the play Kes becomes a symbol for reaching potential. When Billy feels that he has flown it is rooted in the last memory that he has of his dad throwing him up in the air and feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that he is going to be caught. In order to fly you have to know that there is somebody there to catch you and that makes flight ossible. In order for Billy to let Kes fly he has to accept the possibility that he might lose her. In eventually losing Kes, Billy understands that ultimately the ability to fly and be free comes at a cost.
How would you describe Billy’s relationship with Jud and his mother? Billy needs to be loved by both his mother and brother. Like any child, he instinctively loves them both. He may resent his mother for not seeming to care about him, but he cannot help but love her. This causes Billy a lot of emotional pain when his mother rejects him.
With Jud the rejection is even more blatant; he goes out of his way to hurt Billy, both physically and emotionally. Billy desires approval, comfort, support, guidance and attention from his family, but he receives nothing from them. A hug from his mum would make his day. I believe that love does exist within his family but expressing it is considered to be embarrassing and inappropriate.
It is the lack of care in the family for each other which ultimately contributes to the tragedy at the end of the play. What do you think that Billy’s relationship with he kestrel means to him? Kes is everything to Billy. In his relationship with Kes, Billy finds something sacred that doesn’t fly away from him. It might seem a bit strange but I think that Kes represents to Billy the ideal relationship that he finds so difficult to have with the people around him. Billy trusts, protects and is supported by Kes. He spends all of his time thinking of Kes and day dreaming about her. Billy looks up to Kes and feels privileged to be her friend.
Kes has everything that Billy desires: freedom, pride, respect and independence.When Kes is killed by Jud his whole world falls apart. SETTING • The director describes Billy’s world as being ‘dusty, monochrome and oppressive. ’ How does the setting achieve this concept? • The scenes set in the PE changing rooms expose both the bullying and the feelings of confinement, which Billy is subjected to at school.
What elements of the design help to evoke these feelings? • Billy is constantly ‘running’ and ‘climbing’ which is symbolic of his desire to be free. • Flashbacks punctuate the developing storyline.