character analysis of history boys

Topics: Protagonist, Thing, Teacher Pages: 5 (1925 words) Published: November 20, 2013 Analysis of the Characters In the History Boys written by Alan Bennett Jan 17, '09 5:55 AM

for everyone
Mr. Hector or Douglas
He is a round character since psychological aspect is the most obvious thing wherever and wherever he is. Mr. Hector is a sixtysomething eccentric and poetry-loving teacher who inspires his students with the glory of English poetry and the joy of learning. He is lovable and appreciated by his students for his cultural enthusiasm and pure love towards literature. In the history class which only consists of eight brilliant students, he teaches General Studies. But somehow he doesn’t believe that there is such general knowledge. He believes that knowledge is specific and unique like what A. E. Housman said which he quotes, “All knowledge is precious, whether or not it serves the slightest human use." No one denies that he is a great and brilliant man. However, there is a shocking fact that he is a homosexual and couldn’t keep his hand from groping his teenage male students’ genital when he gives a ride to anyone of them. His students never complain about it, they just laugh behind him. They just laugh, nothing else. No one expects that this thoughtful man has a complicated life. He has unhappy and unhealthy marriage, but he wraps it up with the poetic sentence and thousand of quotations. He never shows his feeling openly until Felix warns him that as a teacher, he betrays the holy of education system by doing improper thing on his motorbike. His sadness and being rejected feelings are revealed when he explained Drummer Hodge to Posner. Once, he regrets his miserable life. Yes, Hector’s life is a paradox which will always be a great war inside her heart. Indeed, he is a round character since psychological aspect is the most obvious thing wherever and wherever he is. He stands between two different worlds and pathetically he becomes the bridge that connects the two worlds.  

Tom Irwin
Irwin is a young “Oxford” history graduate that hired by Felix to give the boys “polish” and “edge”. I put Oxford between the quotation marks because nobody knows his real university. He lies, but he does his job well. He is smart, creative, and motivating. As a young pragmatic teacher, he is expected to teach the eight candidates of Oxford and Cambridge with a non-conservative way so that they will impress the examiner of Oxbridge. His way of teaching is somewhat contradictive and against Mr. Hector’s way of teaching. He is smart and he knows how to make them pass the exam. He asks the students to say something different, to find the thing that is uncommon in the society, to say the opposite, to find the other side. For instance, everybody agrees that Stalin is a monster, so he asks them to find descent, or anything to defend him. “The question in essay is about what you know, it is not about what you don’t know,” says he. He tries to eradicate the line of truth here, and it is very controversial in 1983 when the story takes place. Ironically, actually Irwin also is not that smart. He knows the technique, but he is never good enough for anything. He smiles when he looks at his students, may be because he never has their prodigious brain. Once again, there is a life that is being hidden by one of the character of the story.             But, that’s not the only thing that is being hidden by Irwin. He is the second homosexual and he is attracted to Dakin, one of his boys in the history class. What is difficult to be explained is that how can he lives like that? How come there is such a very different thing between the way he teaches and the way he lives? Unlike Hector, Irwin acts carefully for this sensitive issue. He never proclaims verbally, yet his students can recognize his nonverbal signs. He is not as round as Hector, yet he is still a round...
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