The Lesson – Roger McGough (1937-)
It’s about chaos in the classroom, and how to solve this. The teacher is using violence to control the students (swords and all) and The Head is supporting that. The writer tries to make this story funny, but still wants it to have a deeper meaning and make you think.
The meaning is that you shouldn’t use violence in the classroom (it isn’t a solution), but you should be able to control a class.
The writer wants to make us laugh, but also think about situations in classrooms and how teachers might handle them.
The writer exaggerates a lot and uses a lot of adverbs and adjectives to draw you in and make the poem more lively.
Place: In a classroom
Time: Could be at any time, is applicable to present classrooms/teachers but also to situations a long time ago. o
Social: Development of education
Cultural: In a western society where the students often challenge teachers and are not very obedient (compared to for example Chinese schools).
He wants to pay attention to chaos in UK classrooms. It wouldn’t help if the teacher is violent. 2.
He would like us to think about it, by exaggerating. He wants to make us laugh. 3.
Ordinary language to exaggerate.
“I’m going to teach you a lesson
One that you’ll never forget” (second stanza, double meaning!) -
Throttled = wurgen
Garroted = met touw
Grotty = nasty
Skive = spijbelen
Dinghie = kleine opblaasboot
Carnage = bloedbad
Chaos classroom (line 1)
The teacher (line 2)
Hooligans him (line 3)
The theme today (line 5)
To teach (line 7)
Who was (line 9)
Throttled then there (line 10)
Then the (line 11)
Garroted girl (line 11)
Hand he hacked his (line 13)
First first (line 15)
Fingers feet (line 16)
Threw the (line 17)
He his (line 20)
The the (line 21)
Blast backrow (line 21)
Where who (line 22)
Plug’s pulled (line 24)...
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