The History Boys Essays
6 samples in this category
Alan Bennett’s The History Boys uses the opposition created between the characters of Hector and Irwin to structure the play and question the education system. The two characters are naturally opposed – in age, teaching style and fundamental beliefs. This creates comedy which is used, perhaps to convey the playwright’s personal beliefs and relay his experience with the ‘Oxbridge’ system. In Bennett’s introduction to the play, he explains how he felt he had ‘cheated’ to gain a scholarship to Oxford...
The complex exploration of homosexual relations that break the boundaries between pupils and teachers should be typically identified as scandalous, and as a form of paedophilia in a school. However, Alan Bennett presents the issue at a modest grammar school in Sheffield in a radically different manner. For Bennett’s characters in The History Boys, such contact seems to be merely a normal aspect of school life. Hector’s character is constructed to be that of a “humane generalist” as depicted by...
In both texts, gender and sexuality are presented by the authors as something which is supposed to aid the students in their learning and is a natural component of their education. Miss Brodie, for example, continuously emphasises how important being in her ‘prime’ is to her girls as it is the height of her beauty and allure as a woman. Spark portrays sexuality through this as we are made aware of Brodie’s affairs with Lowther and Lloyd and, as a...
Throughout the play Bennett has made Dakin to appear the most confident and self- assured out of the boys but the audience later find out that this is just an act to cover up his vulnerability. An underlying theme in the history boys is sexuality and throughout the play the audience see that Posner is the only boy that is completely open about his sexuality and struggles with the stigma in 1980’s. Posner and Dakin both have different personalities that...
Where Duffy uses revisionism to re-evaluate alternative representations of femininity in history throughout ‘The World’s Wife’, Bennett encourages the reader to re-evaluate the nature of history through Irwin’s revisionist versions of it, so introducing the idea of historiography, whereby historical accounts are dependent upon personal experiences or cultural context. Duffy deliberately distances her characters from sentimentalised idealism regarding the role of the female protagonist, creating ‘real’ voices of suppressed female voices through her use of the dramatic monologue form. However...
Alan Bennett presents the attitudes towards women in The History Boys in a variety of different ways. One way that Bennett does this is by highlighting the lack of female characters in the play. There are only two female characters in the whole of the play, with only one of these characters having any lines. Mrs. Lintott is another history teacher at the grammar school, who can arguably be considered as one of the most important characters in the play....