” Nevertheless, Cary makes a nasty but quite telling remark in reason to what John has just said. Cary says, “Or a merciful release. ” This means that Cary is trying to say that Mr Pelham’s death was a good thing for him because it was a release from his duties as a teacher so therefore Cary is suggesting that teaching at Chantrey School is so stressful, that death is better than teaching at Chantrey School. Cary also states that there are discipline problems within the school by saying, “Its hell. All schools are hell, nor are we out of them. In a moment you will hear the sound of the second circle; unrestricted boy.
” The character does not care about the appearance and reputation of the school, but the reality of how the school is run. However, the character of Cary is used to represent the problems within the school in the following ways. The writer shows this by: – Firstly the character Cary is shown regularly wearing ragged clothes, so basically Cary is giving a bad appearance about himself and therefore giving a bad appearance to the school by showing parents and visitors (who pay the school fees and inspect the school) that the school’s role models are teaching students to dress scruffily.
Secondly the character Cary is shown to be regularly “drinking” alcohol at the pub called “The Green Man” gives a bad impression, not only to the parents and the colleagues, but also to the locals, who live near Chantrey School that teachers at Chantrey School do not do their job properly, and just drink all the time. This also shows to locals, who also know the head very well that Chantrey School does not provide good role models and therefore the students will also “follow their teacher’s footsteps”. This will also create questions in the local’s minds, such as, “What do those boys at Chantrey School learn?
” i. Thirdly, the character Cary is also very rude and impatient because at “The Green Man” Cary shouts out very loud and impatiently shouting “Fred” who is the barmen of “The Green Man”. Cary is very impatient and does not even use any “alerts” like coughing or saying, “uh-hum” to get the barman’s attention. Cary continuously shouts “Fred” giving an impression to the audience that Cary is a “heavy – drinker” and is very impatient. Scene 3 is the longest and possibly the most important scene in the story. In scene 3, John meets his class Lower 5B for the first time.
John Ebony wants to make a good impression to the head, so he tries to adapt to the traditional method of teaching by becoming more authoritarian. A battle between the teacher John Ebony and the students of Lower 5B ensues and the students use different tactics to outwit John. When John gives the students detention, the students reveal a secret, that the students had killed their former teacher Mr Pelham, because he had also punished the students by giving the students detention. At first John is not quite sure that this is true but there is a tiny bit of doubt in John that the students may have killed their former teacher.
This threatens John because he is also giving a punishment similar to what they had received before from their dead teacher and now John could end up the same if he gives the students detention. The students show that they have literally gotten away with murder and because they have alibis and they know how the head runs the school. The head is more concerned on appearance than reality and he wants the school to look good and maintain its reputation. This is the theme of appearance versus reality and is a dramatic device. The head is fighting for appearance whereas Cary is fighting for reality but “only behind the head’s back”.
Cary does not talk about the reality of the school but the appearance of the school in front of the head, because the head has a higher status and might sack him if he does not follow the head’s system. Everyone follows the head’s system when the head is around, but when the head is away, then the truth of the school comes to life. An example of this is in scene 1 when the head introduces Cary to John, and Cary talks very professionally and respectfully in front of the head when the head asks “Then I wonder if you’d mind showing Mr Ebony his form-room at the end of the period.
” Cary gracefully replies to this by replying “A pleasure. ” However, when the head leaves John and Cary, the “real” conversation takes place. There are not just ranks between the staff and the students. There are different ranks within the staff and the students along with the difference between the staff and the students. The hierarchy of the school staff is: – i. The head has the highest rank and talks to people with lower statuses as children, even the other members of the staff. The head addresses people with lower statuses by their last name.
An example of this is at the beginning of the story in scene 1 when the head says, “An old foundation, of course, but I think you’ll find Chantrey very much up-to-date, Ebony… ” The head addresses a teacher, who has a lower rank than him, by his last name “Ebony”. ii. The heads of departments have a lower rank than the head, but a higher rank than the regular teachers. An example of a head of department is Winstanley, the head of the mathematics department and talks very professionally and does not have much respect for the teachers but a lot of respect for the head.
iii. The regular teachers have the lowest rank within the staff but they still have the respect from the students. There are also ranks within the students. The hierarchy of the school students is: – i. The prefects have the highest rank because they have the most authority. ii. The sports teams, for example, the cricket team have a lower rank, but are well respected by the students because they are like idols, except from the prefects who have the most authority and the most respect from the students. iii.
The bullies then have the highest rank after the sports teams, because the bullies are the students who are likely to be strong and physical which creates fear in the regular students. iv. The regular students have a low rank but not as low as the bullied students. v. The bullied students like Wittering have the lowest rank because they are likely to be weaker and less physical than the regular students, which makes them an easy target for bullies. The pattern shown here is that the more power or authority one has, then the more respect or a higher rank a person will get.
The writer criticises authoritarian teaching and uses the character John as an example. The writer shows John as a new, young, inexperienced, weak teacher but John is very keen to be accepted by the head. The writer shows how hard it is for John to take back his authority when the students of Lower 5B frequently interrupted him and threatened to kill him just like the students said they did to their former teacher Mr Pelham in the previous lesson. The writer shows what happens when John becomes more authoritarian.
John tries to take back his authority by being more authoritarian, cooperating less with the students and not talking with the students about what had happened the previous lesson. An example of this is when the students are misbehaving and when the head walks into the classroom, the students pretend to be working and cooperating with the teacher. When talking about Mr Pelham’s death, Cuthban says “I mean to say, sir, we can prove it. There are at least two witnesses for every member of the form.
” After this, the head enters room and then Cuthban pretends to be working by reading aloud from the history textbook in front of the class saying “The Battle of St. Albans, 1455, The Battle of Wakefield, 1461. “This is where the students pretend to be working in front of the head. Also, the head does not even bother to check in the students’ exercise books to see if and how much work the students have done. When talking Nevertheless, the students remind John of what they had talked about the previous lesson and show John evidence that they killed Mr Pelham by showing John, Mr Pelham’s wallet with a picture of his niece inside the wallet.
The students take back the authority that was taken away from John to the students. The students are more experienced to the head’s way of running the school than John so the students can easily control John. Furthermore, John is trying to impress the head by following his system of running the school. John shows that he is in full control and is a good teacher because he identifies and corrects Cuthban’s mistake in front of the head. This is John’s first job as a teacher and these are hard times for John because he is inexperienced has just settled in his new flat with his wife Nadia near Chantrey School.
John corrects Cuthban by saying “Fourteen sixty, Cuthban. ” The cooperation and respect has earned John and the students a good reputation. In scene 3, John tries to take authority by becoming more authoritarian and using “warnings” to tell the students to not “mess about” with John. An example of this in scene 3 is when the students are messing about and John warns the students by saying “And I don’t want any more fooling about or there’ll be trouble. ” John says this to Cuthban and what this really means is that Cuthban is taking away John’s authority and if he does not stop, then Cuthban will be punished.
The students do not like to be “a pack of sheep” who all follow one person” and they would instead like to be individuals. The students want to do what they want to do in the lessons and in return they will behave for John and make sure John gets a good impression from the head. This is the modus vivendi, which is introduced by Cuthban in scene 8. The writer also uses quotes from the history textbooks because the history textbook reflects on what happens in the classroom. The history textbook is about a lot of battles and the educational system of the 1950’s was based on the system of the army so this would be a dramatic device.