I’m the King of the Castle


Susan Hill

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Leydell Castle Symbol Analysis

Leydell Castle Symbol Icon

One day, Joseph Hooper drives Edmund Hooper and Charles Kingshaw to a local tourist attraction, Leydell Castle. Children come from across the country to play at the ruins of this authentic medieval castle, and Joseph believes that he’s giving Edmund and Charles a fun way to spend the day. The reality, however, is much more disturbing. Charles and Edmund engage in a subtle battle of wills, in which both try to assert their superiority over the other by climbing to the top of the castle. Thus, Leydell Castle symbolizes the boys’ struggle for power, which is fundamentally rooted not only in Edmund’s abuse of Charles, but in the class-based hierarchy that exists between them. The two boys compete for everything—Warings, toys, their parents’ love, and, here, a castle. Unbeknownst to Joseph, the boys’ struggle is brutal, and ultimately even deadly.

Leydell Castle Quotes in I’m the King of the Castle

The I’m the King of the Castle quotes below all refer to the symbol of Leydell Castle. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Property and Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of I’m the King of the Castle published in 1977.
Chapter 12 Quotes

I am the King, I am the King, there is nothing I can't ask him for, nothing he won't promise me, nothing I can't do to him. Up here, I'm the King.
But he had learned enough, over the past few weeks, to know that any power he acquired would only be temporary. Like the thunderstorm in the wood, and the time when Hooper had fallen into the water and bashed his head, and then when he had had the nightmares. As soon as the situation had changed, everything went back to what Kingshaw had come to think of as normal.

Related Characters: Charles Kingshaw (speaker), Edmund Hooper
Related Symbols: Leydell Castle
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Leydell Castle Symbol Timeline in I’m the King of the Castle

The timeline below shows where the symbol Leydell Castle appears in I’m the King of the Castle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
...the car, Charles stares out the window. He, Edmund, Joseph, and Helena are driving to Leydell Castle . Joseph boasts about having packed guidebooks—he has become more confident as a result of... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
At the castle, Edmund asks Charles what he’s going to do. Charles says he’s going to climb up... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Edmund appears—he has climbed up to the top of the castle. Charles announces that he’s climbing down. Then, he realizes that Edmund’s face is pale—he’s terrified.... (full context)