I’m the King of the Castle

Warings Symbol Analysis

Warings Symbol Icon

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.

Warings 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 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:
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

It was an ordinary house, he thought, an ugly house, nothing to boast of. But the idea that it was his, the idea of a family history, pleased him.

Related Characters: Edmund Hooper
Related Symbols: Warings
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
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Warings Symbol Timeline in I’m the King of the Castle

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.
Chapter 1
Property and Class Theme Icon
The Hoopers’ house, which Joseph has now inherited from his father, is called Warings, and it was built by Edmund’s great-grandfather, meaning that “it was not very old.” Back... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
...the same name (we’ll call him Joseph Hooper Sr.), had poured all his money into Warings. He succeeded, with the result that he had to sell all his other land to... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Joseph grew up in Warings, and hated it. He’s now fifty-one years old, and he’s proud to be a Hooper... (full context)
Chapter 2
Property and Class Theme Icon
Joseph Hooper announces to Edmund that people are coming to Warings, meaning that Edmund may finally have a friend to play with. The friend, Charles Kingshaw,... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
...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)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
When Helena Kingshaw arrives at Warings with her son Charles, her first impression of Joseph is that he’s been alone for... (full context)
Chapter 3
Childhood Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
About two miles west of Warings, there is a large wood, Hang Wood. To the east there’s the small village of... (full context)
Chapter 4
Childhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...wishes he could be with his friend—but instead, he and his mother have moved to Warings. He thinks with embarrassment of something his mother told him after his father died: “You... (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
Back at Warings, Charles goes to bed early and makes “plans.” He tells himself, “it won’t go on... (full context)
Chapter 5
Property and Class Theme Icon
...and sneaks outside, past the yew trees. He turns around and takes a look at Warings, and the house looks like an old, ugly face. The weather is very cold as... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Charles nears the woods outside Warings. He remembers how Edmund dared him to come here—and this dare, he knows, “had been... (full context)
Chapter 7
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
...Edmund is going to go home, but Charles is determined not to go back to Warings. Edmund threatens to leave Charles alone in the wood unless he comes along. Charles knows... (full context)
Chapter 8
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
...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)
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
...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)
Chapter 9
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
...the forest is exactly what Charles had wanted. But then, he wonders if life at Warings will be different from now on. Suddenly, there’s a shout, and a man comes into... (full context)
Chapter 10
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Back at Warings, Edmund claims that Charles punched him and pushed him into the water. Helena Kingshaw believes... (full context)
Chapter 11
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
...possible from Edmund. One day, he hides in a small shed in the garden outside Warings. While he’s looking around, he hears the shed door lock. At first, he assumes it’s... (full context)
Chapter 13
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
...slow motion. They’re only as high up as they might be on the roof of Warings, but the fall seems to take a long time. After that, time seems to speed... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Charles goes back to Warings with Joseph and Helena. In the car, he remembers being eight years old at his... (full context)
Chapter 14
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Charles wanders through the area outside Warings, and comes to a church. Inside, on the red carpet by the altar rail, he... (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...to Charles that this boy has been watching him the entire time he’s been at Warings. Charles and Edmund have been “on the moon” while, all along, there’s been a whole... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
...how you ought to be.” Fielding offers to let Charles ride his bike back to Warings to ask Mrs. Boland if he, Charles, can stay for dinner at the Fieldings’ house.... (full context)
Chapter 15
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Edmund returns to Warings, where he must spend his time in bed. Helena tells Charles that he should spend... (full context)
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Imprisonment and Escape Theme Icon
...and fears and smells.” And so the van drives away, and he goes back to Warings. (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Back at Warings, Edmund tells Charles that he knows about Fielding—Helena told him. He adds, “Your mother tells... (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Back at Warings, Edmund plays with the model fort that Charles built. Furious, Charles complains that Joseph gave... (full context)
Chapter 16
Property and Class Theme Icon
Helena has been lonely ever since she’s gotten to Warings. But she hasn’t allowed herself to acknowledge her loneliness; instead, she tells herself that Joseph... (full context)
Property and Class Theme Icon
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
...mind about the future.” He decides that something is wrong: Helena doesn’t like living at Warings. He thinks about all the times he’s looked at Helena in her skirts and felt... (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
A few days later, Charles feels anxious. Joseph is driving Charles and Edmund away from Warings, and Helena assures them that they’re in for a “lovely treat.” Charles thinks that he... (full context)
Childhood Theme Icon
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
...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)
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... (full context)
Chapter 17
Fear and Psychological Manipulation Theme Icon
Warings is full of suitcases: Charles and Edmund are almost ready to leave for school. Edmund... (full context)