A Kestrel for a Knave Essay

Question: “Personal Identity is certainly influenced by outside elements; however the main determinant of Personal Identity is character and personality.” Discuss with reference to A Kestrel for a Knave.

Personal identity is influenced by both the nature of character and personality combined with the nurture received from outside elements.   A Kestrel for a Knave is centred on the day in the life of Billy Casper, whose personal identity is heavily influenced by a range of outside elements.   The negative influence of an unloving family, along with their low socio economic status means that they must live in a disadvantaged area, however the natural world which Billy discovers alternately has a positive effect. Even though Billy was born and raised in this lifestyle, his personality and character described through the events which have occurred in his life show his true personal identity.

Billy’s personal identity is greatly defined by not having his father in his life or any other father figure which he can look up to. His older brother Jud is cruel towards him and shows no signs of care or brotherly love for Billy, shown when “Jud parted Billy’s sweater and shirt, and used the sweater for a vest” illustrating how he is selfish by rather having himself be comfortable in the cold temperatures and not care about Billy’s needs and wellbeing. This complete ignorance for Billy is also demonstrated when “On the step stood two empty milk bottles” after Jud drinks all the milk without leaving any for Billy. There is hardly any food in the house and Jud only cares for himself by making sure he is not left hungry, without even thinking of Billy . Even though Billy still has his mother, she is hardly a good parental role model for him. She displays poor morals and values as she is constantly out on weekends getting drunk and sleeping around, showing that she does not have much respect for herself let alone Billy. Her complete lack of parental skills are evident when she...