• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the relevance of Pages 58 - 63 in the History Boys to the rest of the play

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the relevance of Pages 58 -63 in the History Boys to the rest of the play. When we meet Irwin again at the beginning of Act two he is a man now well into his forties and has moved on from teaching history in a school to filming a television history programme on location. We learn that he is five years older and yet there is a certain irony in the fact that he still recites the same mantra that he used with the 'history boys' when called in to prepare them for Oxbridge entry If you want to learn about Stalin study Henry VIII. If you want to learn about Mrs Thatcher study Henry VIII If you want to know about Hollywood study Henry VIII' It was all history. It seems that although older and now in a wheelchair his basic attitude and approach have changed little. ...read more.

Middle

Irwin, the television presenter, has retained this belief in looking at these aspects of history which offer a more controversial approach to the subject. Initially describing the boys' work as 'Abysmally dull' he recognised to be successful they had to attract attention by using unorthodox methods. His dictum, which was evident as a teacher, was evident when he said, 'The wrong end of the stick is the right one. A question has a front door and a back door. Go in the back or better still the side.' To shock or surprise was his intent. He then proceeded to express his opinion that history was a performance, For Irwin, unlike Hector, presentation was everything and he has interest in moral truth viewing things as being entertainment, so the first glimpse of Irwin the television presenter was evident even as a teacher. When referring to Stalin, whilst agreeing that he was a monster, he was still perfectly willing to say something in his defence. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is now just the case that his horizons are greatly expanded and he is able to suppress any moral feelings. He has obviously reached a stage where he is happy to twist debatable aspects to fit in with what he wishes to achieve. His views are well illustrated when he says in defence of a law change, 'Paradox works well and mists up the windows which is handy' We then come to appreciate how Irwin the television presenter views what he does by saying, 'School. That's all it is. In my case anyway. Back to school.' He really had come to believe that history was 'a performance. Its entertainment. And if it isn't make it so.' Perhaps this last statement is so telling of his willingness to subvert the facts and in so doing taking an argument and endeavouring to prove its opposite as he had first done as a teacher who was willing to relegate moral truth for effect. ?? ?? ?? ?? February 2009 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The History Boys. Consider the significance of finding your way in life, in ...

    3 star(s)

    To do so, we?ll analyze two or three of the boys and two or three teachers. We will start Posner. Posner is a round homosexual character in this story. He is a shy sentimental boy who is pathetically into Dakin.

  2. John Osborne admits to there being commercials in the play Look Back in Anger. ...

    of others, however will "make it to the top" due to the social procedures. It is this characteristic of Jimmy that made Michael Covenall call him a "loveable monster with the gift of the gab and a talent for resentment," as he could see the passion in Jimmy's disgust at wider society along with the British population.

  1. Pygmalion - the significance of accents and the characters of Eliza and Henry.

    Shaw meant for Higgins to be a dynamic character that created frustration due to his indifference to people, however Higgins is also very likeable based on his very frank thoughts and opinions. He creates great interest in the play with his intelligence and dry humour and we as an audience grow to like Higgins despite his flaws.

  2. Mabel In Making History Contradicts Prevailing Attitudes Towards Women Shown In Top Girls

    Figuratively, Marlene can be said to have taken a life away from Angie in giving her away, because she took her away from a place where she could have grown up in successful surroundings, and learned about the world of business.

  1. A tragicomedy is a comedy with serious elements or overtones*. To what extent can ...

    In response to Hector?s death, the audience could see it as an optimistic release for Hector from a life of discontent: his marriage is passionate- his wife married him for ?lukewarm attentions? (pg92),

  2. The play Cosi, written by Louis Nowra, supports the assumption that certain members of ...

    He is reluctant to work with these ?mad? patients, deeming the whole ?project? to be ?madness?. However, Lewis preservers with the play, stating he ?needs the money? and in continuing he was slowly able to better understand the patients. As the play progresses, Lewis begins to get to know the

  1. Comment on Sherriff's presentation of Stanhope in the first two acts of Journey's End.

    Hardy?s quick exit at the start of the play, fearing Stanhope?s reaction to the state of the trenches, would indicate that he always has, as Osborne says to Raleigh, ?a bit of a temper.? Hibbert?s entrance introduces the audience to the conflict in the play between cowardice and heroism; Stanhope

  2. Through the selection of three characters in 'Journey's End' examine how Sherriff presents human ...

    The quotation indicates that he sees war as something of a game, which must be entertaining to watch, if not participate in. In addition, his description of taking prisoners when talking to Raleigh trivialises the entire war. He says that "one'll do [one German soldier], but bring more if you

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work