I’m the King of the Castle

The Red Room Symbol Analysis

The Red Room Symbol Icon

The Hoopers keep their moth collection in a room called the Red Room. This is one of the most overt allusions to the English Gothic tradition: in many Gothic novels, there’s a mysterious room that only a few characters are allowed to enter (Jane Eyre is the classic example—and in fact, there’s a Red Room in Jane Eyre, too). Although Edmund finds the Red Room fairly ordinary, Charles is intimidated by it. Therefore, from Charles’s perspective, the Red Room symbolizes the austerity, mystery, and eeriness of Warings itself.

The Red Room 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 The Red Room. 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 1 Quotes

He stretched out his hand, put his finger under the head of the pin and slid it up, out of the thick, striped body. At once, the whole moth, already years dead, disintegrated, collapsing into a soft, formless heap of dark dust.

Related Characters: Edmund Hooper
Related Symbols: Moths, The Red Room
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 3 Quotes

He imagined the furry body of the moth against the pads of Hooper's fingers. He was ashamed of being so afraid, and could not help it, he only wanted to get out, to stop having to see the terrible moths. Hooper watched him. There was a moment when they both stood, quite still, waiting. Then, Hooper whipped around and pushed past Kingshaw without warning he was out of the door, turning the key sharply in the lock. After a moment, his footsteps went away down the hall. A door closed somewhere.

Related Characters: Charles Kingshaw, Edmund Hooper
Related Symbols: Moths, The Red Room
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Red Room Symbol Timeline in I’m the King of the Castle

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Red Room appears in I’m the King of the Castle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Joseph instructs Edmund never to go into the Red Room , explaining that there are lots of old, valuable things inside. When Edmund suggests that... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Edmund uses the key to enter the Red Room . Inside, he finds shelves of books, mostly “bound volumes of the Banker’s Journal.” He... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Joseph remembers his own father, Joseph Hooper Sr, taking him to the Red Room to see the butterfly collection. Joseph’s father once told him, “I am an international authority... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
Late at night, Edmund walks through the Red Room , looking at the moths in their cases. He knows that there is a small... (full context)
Chapter 3
Property and Class Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Later that day, Edmund offers to show Charles the Red Room . Charles doesn’t want to go into the room, but instead of saying “no” he... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...shouts for help, and his mother, along with Joseph Hooper, let him out of the Red Room . Charles just says, “I got locked in,” and runs off to his room, where... (full context)
Chapter 16
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
During Fielding’s visit to Warings, Edmund offers to show Fielding inside the Red Room , and adds that Charles is very scared of what’s inside. In the Red Room,... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
Back in the Red Room , Edmund suggests that Fielding come look at his “battle plans.” Fielding asks Charles if... (full context)