To Sir with Love

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To Sir, With Love Critical Lens
In To Sir, with Love, by E.R. Braithwaite, the quote “Fear always springs from ignorance” spoken by Emerson, proves itself true because there are many instances where peoples lack of knowledge led to fear or intimidation. Therefore, I would have to say I agree with this quote. I interpret the critical lens to mean that people are scared of the unknown, leading to false judgment or assumptions. The protagonist, Braithwaite, faces ridicule because of harsh racism from the students, considering that is all they know, and in overall faces a challenge with his new society. A conflict Braithwaite is unprepared to face, man vs. society, has sprung up and is closely related to Emerson’s quote.

There are many literary elements that could relate to the quote, “Fear always springs from ignorance”, but one that sticks out is man vs. society. The conflict, man vs. society, means that customs which the society has known are being challenged. The challenger is Braithwaite. The quote relates to this element because the children are very disrespectful, but that is not out of the norm. They are acting normally, which is generally how their society behaves. They do not understand that Braithwaite is a human being just like them, and they are somewhat intimidated by him because he is going against the norm. Even the teachers at Greenslade are somewhat afraid of what Braithwaite has brought to the new society that involves his fellow teachers and students. All are taken back because of his skin color, and cannot help but be fearful, and racist, because of ignorance.

Racism is the theme in To Sir, with Love, this element relates directly to the quote, “Fear always springs from ignorance.” The children do not know how to treat others, especially those with black skin. They are not exposed to it a lot in their community. Racism sprung from ignorance, or uninformed and or lack of knowledge. The way they treat him can’t be completely to blame. What...
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