Warings is the large manor house where Joseph Hooper and his son Edmund Hooper live. Early in the novel, Charles Kingshaw moves to Warings with his mother, Helena Kingshaw. There is a long tradition of macabre, mysterious English novels about big manor houses in the country, known as Gothic fiction. In many Gothic novels, the manor house functions almost like a character in the story—seeming to have its own personality and its own feelings about the characters who live there. Throughout the novel, Hill presents Warings as being antagonistic to Charles: at times, it seems to glare down on him, pushing him away, and on other occasions, Hill describes it as trapping him within its dark, mysterious rooms. While Charles is frightened of Warings, to Edmund Hooper, the heir of Warings, the manor represents safety and security. Warings symbolizes the English class system itself, in which certain children grow up to inherit vast properties and great wealth from their parents, while other children don't.
The I’m the King of the Castle quotes below all refer to the symbol of Warings. 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: 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.).
The timeline below shows where the symbol Warings appears in I’m the King of the Castle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...he remembers nothing about his own mother. He also decides, “nobody should come here,” since Warings belongs to him. That afternoon, when the Kingshaws arrive, Edmund locks his door and refuses... (full context)
...Edmund with the stick. Edmund, gloating, tells Charles that Charles’s mother, Helena, has come to Warings to marry Joseph. Charles begins to despise his mother. Then he remembers that this is... (full context)
...since “It’s your fault.” Edmund claims he’ll tell the police that Charles made him leave Warings. Suddenly, Edmund cries, “I want to go home.” Charles calls him a “great blubbering baby.”... (full context)
...told Edmund to go away. Edmund said that he didn’t want Helena or Charles at Warings. Charles realizes that Edmund is genuinely angry—he doesn’t want other people in his house. This... (full context)