13/11/2013 The History Boys Analysis
In the play on page 22 when Mr. Hector says “Dakin’s a good-looking boy, though somehow sad”Mrs. Lintott replies“You always think they’re sad, Hector, every time. Actually I wouldn’t have said he was sad…”I think the fact that Mrs Lintott says “you always think they’re sad” represents Mr. Hector’s character in someway, from the play we can extract the fact that Mr. Hector is ‘sad’ in general. But what makes this even more meaningful is the fact that he ‘always’ think they’re sad. It is sad on its own or heart-breaking that Mr. Hector thinks that everyone is sad like him. He doesn’t seem to realise that there is another side to life, and that is it possible for people to be happier.
Also we can note the fact that Posner is a ‘special character’ he is not like the other boys and seems to have his own view on things. He is the outlier out of all the 8 boys. But personally I find it a bit odd, but yet still note-worthy the fact that Irwin asks Posner about Hector and so does Mrs Lintott, the teachers do know that Posner is a lot like Mr.Hector, this character behaviour similarities is not a secret. Not that there should be any reason for it to be a secret. I know that this is a minuscule point to make, it is just something that I never realised.
There is a lot to say about this Mr. Hector’s character. Since Mr. Hector can’t live his own life he lives it through his students in some way, he inspires them to love what he loves. Mr Hector and the groping of the boys’ genitals- (sorry for the graphic picture). I honestly believe that this is a two-way street. The audience is meant to think one of two things. Now, is it the fact that Mr. Hector is this literature-loving, book-reading guy that makes the disturbing act of groping young boys seem more innocent? Or is it completely the other way round, is it because Mr. Hector is this literature-loving, book-reading guy that makes the groping more disturbing? Because he should have known better. When you first read the play the first scene shows the boys having fun, and they are undressing Mr.Hector (appropriately just the gloves, scarf and jacket) and when you are looking at it, it seems fine just some people having fun. The clever thing that Bennett does he doesn’t start with the molesting he allows you to get to know Hector in the classroom and then tells you about the molesting on the motorbike, so once you think you know Hector and are ready to pass a judgement all of a sudden you are aware about this other side of him. But then when you later un-suspend your disbelief and think what if it was you in that situation allowing yourself to be groped like that. Mr. Hector would probably be in jail by now, no matter how kind he is. If it was me personally I would think it was really inappropriate, but that may just have to do with the fact that, that is how our teachers are. Honestly the way you look at the sexual abuse tied in with Mr.Hector really depends on how you view things generally, are you going to look at the technical side of things like Mrs Lintott ‘a grope is a grope’ and the Headmaster or show more compassion based on who is doing it? Is it also possible to say that Mr.Hector is so absorbed into this world of literature that he cannot tell the diference between right and wrong.
When the Headmaster accuses Mr. Hector of molesting the boys. Mr. Hector replies “The transmission of knowledge is in itself an erotic act. In the Renaissance…”here, I am not entirely sure if Mr.Hector is saying this to defend himself or if that is what he actually thinks. But in the play it is noted that Hector locks the doors when teaching in his lessons. This may be a new thing he does now because of when Mr.Irwin walked in on their lesson to find Dakin in his underwear and he wanted to prevent another awkward event from happening again. The Headmaster tries to snap...
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