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Thread: school teachers in literature

  1. #1
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Post school teachers in literature

    Looking for examples of famous or infamous schoolteachers or ''maitresses'' in literature and books.
    The closest I got to is
    Jane Eyre
    any others?
    Thank you!!
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  2. #2
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    And then there were none
    The Catcher in the Rye

  3. #3
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    Villette - Charlotte Bronte
    Tom Brown's Schooldays - Hughes
    Nicholas Nickleby - Dickens
    Goodbye Mr Chips (sorry, can't remember the author)
    Tha Browning Version - Rattigan

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Teachers are often negatively portrayed in Dickens.

    Mr. Gradgrind - Hard Times
    Mr. Squeers - Nicholas Nickleby
    Mr. Sharp - David Copperfield

    Then there is father Dolan in Joyce's Portrait

    And don't forget about Roald Dahl's Matilda!
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  5. #5
    Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses
    I haven't read much Dickens, but I imagine he has a whole mess of nasty teachers
    ...but Harry Potter has pretty much cornered this market.

  6. #6
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blithesky View Post
    And then there were none
    The Catcher in the Rye
    Do you mean the English teacher Mr Antolini?
    what does ''catcher in the rye'' actually mean?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  7. #7
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Zenna Henderson's wonderful SF stories often feature teachers (she was one herself).
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #8
    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    Do you mean the English teacher Mr Antolini?
    what does ''catcher in the rye'' actually mean?
    If you read the book you will be able to decipher the meaning or the symbolism of the title...

    Since it is the end of the day, and I have no brain power or energy left to describe it myself, here is an excerpt from a source on the meaning of the title and the symbolism:

    ''Holden overhears a child/kid singing the Robert Burns song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” In Chapter 22, when Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to do with his life, he replies with his image, from the song, of a “catcher in the rye.” Holden imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He says he would like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over. As Phoebe points out, Holden has misheard the lyric. He thinks the line is “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye,” but the actual lyric is “If a body meet a body, coming through the rye.” '''

    but in essence, Holden wants to save or catch the children before they fall from innocence... before they are tainted. This is an interesting theme that runs through the novel (the struggle against the loss of innocence and childhood).
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

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    Cookies DarkAntigone's Avatar
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    Robert Langdon?

  10. #10
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticPassions View Post
    If you read the book you will be able to decipher the meaning or the symbolism of the title...

    Since it is the end of the day, and I have no brain power or energy left to describe it myself, here is an excerpt from a source on the meaning of the title and the symbolism:

    ''Holden overhears a child/kid singing the Robert Burns song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” In Chapter 22, when Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to do with his life, he replies with his image, from the song, of a “catcher in the rye.” Holden imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He says he would like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over. As Phoebe points out, Holden has misheard the lyric. He thinks the line is “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye,” but the actual lyric is “If a body meet a body, coming through the rye.” '''

    but in essence, Holden wants to save or catch the children before they fall from innocence... before they are tainted. This is an interesting theme that runs through the novel (the struggle against the loss of innocence and childhood).
    Thank you for that PeoticPassion very much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAntigone View Post
    Robert Langdon?
    Dan Brown/DaVinci of course who else!!
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  11. #11
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    And the most rascally of them all?
    Captain Grimes in Decline and Fall.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  12. #12
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Jean Brodie- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

  13. #13
    dubitans
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    It's a bit of a stretch, but Addie Bundren had been a schoolmarm before marrying Anse in Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. My favorite one to hate has already been cited: Wackford Squeers from Dicken's Nicholas Nickleby.

  14. #14
    Tu le connais, lecteur... Kafka's Crow's Avatar
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    ...I loved it and still do. Just read her poems, Tom . . . “
    “What?” I shouted, lifting out of my chair and moving angrily toward
    Lowenstein. “Just read my sister’s poetry? I said I was a coach, Doctor,
    not an orangutan. And you must have forgotten that other minor detail
    in my pitiful curriculum vitae. I’m an English teacher, Lowenstein, a
    wonderful English teacher with astonishing, outsized gifts for making
    slack-jawed southern morons fall in love with the language they were
    born to damage.
    Tome Wingo in The Prince of Tides by Pat Conry
    "The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don’t want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the sh1t the more I am grateful to him..."
    -- Harold Pinter on Samuel Beckett

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    "Old School" by Tobias Wolff is about a remarkable school for children who are, potentially, gifted writers. The headmaster is a personal friend of Hemingway, and has actually published work himself! The other teachers are of a similar high calibre. You might think such a special school is about as likely to exist as Hogwarts, but, if you suspend disbelief, I defy you not to like this novel. I'm about half way through and I'm finding it totally riveting. The headmaster can call on some pretty special temporary teachers ... like Hemingway and Frost in person! The kids have to write a piece of work that will impress the famous guest lecturer, with the prize being a private audience with the master. Will our hero get to meet Hemingway?

    But I have to agree about Wackford Squeers from Dicken's Nicholas Nickleby as my favourite portrait! Also check out "Our Mutual Friend", the teacher in that, Bradley Headstone, is even more evil & mad than Wackford Squeers. Another famous teacher in Dickens is Thomas Gradgrind in "Hard Times", famous for his pursuit of "facts, facts, facts" - considers poetry, fiction and other pursuits as "destructive nonsense".

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