“Kits wilderness” by David Almond Essay

“Kits wilderness” by david almond

Kits Wilderness is a story filled with equal portions of mystery, wonder and suspense.  Kit Watson is a thirteen year old boy who can easily influence tells the story joins a club whose members must “die” and be “reincarnated.”  His family has returned to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town in northern England to take care for Kit’s recently widowed grandfather.   His grandfather was born, raised and worked there in the old mines of the town, that’s why for him that is the only place where he feels at home and spend the last years of his life and die there.

Almost immediately, he forms a friendship to John Askew a frightening weird guy and leader of the misfit gang.  As the “new kid”, Kit manages to make friends and doesn’t take a long to fall in with them.  In the haunted mines of the town, Kit is encouraged to attend nocturnal meetings, and every so often, the group of small adolescent troop down into the pit.  Though at first, Kit is afraid and hesitant, he eventually succumbs from the peer pressure. There in the mine they smoke cigarettes, with knives and they play the terrifying the game of death.

Kit who is extremely gifted writer and John who is extremely gifted artist share the bond of friendship and through these shared sights John puts his trust to Kit, to heal the wounds he suffered and let go of his grudges from his father. Kit also reached out to his father whose health and mind is deteriorating quickly.

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Throughout the novel a lot of instances that are shown to us, is that John and Kit are totally opposite individuals.  Kit is fair, their house is much comfortable, shares his home with other members of the family and a happy go-lucky boy.  While John is dark, has a broken family, they live in the poorer end of town and Ally (their neighbor) describes him wild like an animal.

Although we are often reminded of the opposite in the differences among the two boys, they are both drawn to each other, and Askew knew to himself that they are the same.  Kit feels that this connection sustain his friendship with everyone as he said the refrain, “I know we are.”  Kit knew that he is fully connected to his grandfather, parents, teachers, with Ally and Askew, those of the characters come out from his imagination, and most of all with himself.

From his experience, Kit knows and understands the blackness his grandfather is falling and suffering deeply.  He learned about it the first time he was chosen to die.  He died when he played John’s game called Death.  Kit now understands the importance of light; he teaches John Askew how to live because John taught him how to die.

In my view to this novel, this contains a very strong message about peer pressure.  It is made clear that when Kit takes drags of the cigarette, he does not like it and just force to smoke to fit in with the rest of the group.  Kit is under a lot of pressure when John puts him to join the gang.

Another strong message of this novel is the importance of having a bonded family.  Kit Watson can confide to his grandfather because he has a very good and strong relationship with him, while John Askew comes from his abusive and broken family and no one to turn to that’s why he carry hatred and bitterness from them.

Between the two boys, you can see clearly the difference of how their life is being young adolescents.  We cannot choose which family we want but we have a choice on how to make our life good and most of all not to fall from peer pressures.


Almond D. (1993) Kits Wilderness, The Game Called Life. London: Hodder