It Has Been Said That the Topic of Paedophilia Is Far Too Disturbing to Fit Comfortably Into the Comic World, Yet Hector Engages in Paedophilic Acts Throughout the Play. What Is Your View of the Character and Comic Role

Topics: Comedy, Pedophilia, Alan Bennett Pages: 4 (1467 words) Published: March 8, 2013
It has been said that the topic of paedophilia is far too disturbing to fit comfortably into the comic world, yet Hector engages in paedophilic acts throughout the play. What is your view of the character and comic role of Hector in Bennett’s the History Boys? Hector is merely a construction created by Bennett to symbolise what people yearn for; an eccentric educator that inspires you to want to learn purely for the love of learning. One of Hectors sole purposes in the play is to make the reader feel nostalgic about the kind of teacher they possibly never had. Most of the onlookers will not have experienced the joy of having a teacher similar to Hector and possibly feel they’ve overlooked the elation of knowledge and education. Hector is aspirational in the sense that the audience feel they lack intelligence because of Hectors infinite astuteness therefor they wish they could have had the experience of a teacher comparable to Hector. By introducing the boys talking in French while inappropriately undressing their teacher, - which also indicates the presence of a non-realistic setting- it presents the play as being intelligent and humorous but it also foreshadows a somewhat abnormal relationship between student and teacher, as well as suggesting that the audience should be intelligent too. Bennett did this to truly illustrate how intellectual the boys are and how keen they are to learn. The boys don’t seem to acknowledge or react to the strangeness of the scenario between Hector and themselves, because of this, the audience have an almost stunted reaction and are influenced to not see Hector as a threat, they find it shocking but, it’s a natural habit to react to issues which are scandalous by expressing amusement, in this circumstance a teacher fondling his students inappropriately is what defines scandalous. The boys lack of concern may mirror Bennetts own views on sexuality and paedophilia. Furthermore, because the boys are so comfortable with the idea of...
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