Analysis of the text “Up the down staircase”
By Bel Kaufman
Bella "Bel" Kaufman (born May 10, 1911) is a Russian-American professor and author, best known for writing the 1965 best-seller Up the Down Staircase. Kaufman was born in Berlin, Germany, where her father was studying medicine. Although born in Germany, her native language was Russian. She was raised in Odessa. She emigrated to the United States in 1923 at the age of 12 with her parents, moving to New York City, where she first began learning the English language. At the age of 18 she attended Hunter College in New York, from which she received a BA degree, then pursued a Master's degree at Columbia University. She then began work as a teacher in various New York City high schools, along with working part-time as a writer. In 1965 she published the novel Up the Down Staircase, which became an enormous success, remaining on the New York Times Best Seller list for 64 weeks. In 1967, the book was turned into a film of the same name. In 1979 Kaufman published a second novel, Love, etc.. She has since then written various short stories. She has also continued as a teacher and lecturer. She continued teaching in NYC for over 20 years, according to Pearson Education. Kaufman has written, "I do not LIKE writing; in truth, I HATE writing, and would rather do anything else. But the joy comes when, almost in spite of myself, I come close to what I want to say. A sentence or an insight leaps from the page." The story revolves around Sylvia Barrett, a young idealistic and very talented English teacher at an inner-city high school who hopes to nurture her students' interest in literature and tries to teach her students not just to read or retell something but to think first of all. She faces with the indifference of her students, and the incompetence of many of her colleagues. And Sylvia writes to her friend about all the difficulties she has and how she gets over the obstacles. The...