«Up the Down Staircase»
The text under analysis is a fragment from the novel «Up the Down Staircase», written by Bel Kaufman, an outstanding American writer. She worked as a teacher of the English language and literature in a New York high school for many years. She is best-known for her novel «Up the Down Staircase», which was published in 1965. The book deals with the experience of a young high school teacher. So, it’s rather obvious that the novel comprises some autobiographical episodes. The novel was adapted to film and in 1967 appeared on the screens. The story under discussion tells us about the work and impressions about the job of a young school teacher Sylvia Barrett. She is disappointed with the system of education. She is “to teach not the subject but the whole child”, but she finds out that it is easier said than done and she acts her own way. She tells us about her two most prominent achievements in the class: she has aspired the children to talk during the lesson and, later, to be quiet. Having read the short piece of the letter we can find out what type of a teacher Sylvia Barrett is. This effect is attained thanks to the author’s talent to represent the main character. So, the fragment from the novel is represented in the form of letter. It is started with the greeting Ellen, a friend of Sylvia’s. Then the congratulations on the baby’s new tooth follow. I can say that this is a piece of the exposition, where the writer supplies some information on the profession of the main character. Gradually it involves us in the atmosphere of teaching. The complication covers the episode when Sylvia Barrett tries to explain to her friend what she is teaching and her methods. She admits that it’s not her first consideration to follow the advice of Professor Winters, Dr. Bester and the English Syllabus. Moreover, she reveals the drawbacks of her pupils and the books which she is imposed to teach. In my opinion, this fragment contains two climaxes. There are...
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