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Consider the dramatic impact and importance of the "French Lesson"

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Consider the dramatic impact and importance of the "French Lesson" First consider the scene: It is set in a classroom with the boys and Hector, the man of "studied eccentricity". They are encouraged by Hector to speak in French and the boys develop this by enacting scenes from "Bordello". "Posner sings some Piaf", already creates a jolly, comic atmosphere, and conveys the boys as being more sophisticated than people may think. Hector displays his teaching abilities by speaking fluent French to the boys. The boys match his ability correcting each other on some colloquial language for example Posner defines "une maison de passe" as a brothel. Already from the description of the scene the boy's characters are developed. Some important facts are learnt about them from the classroom scene. Posner's sexuality is questioned throughout the scene and Hectors relationship with the boys is clearly shown. The acting begins with Posner volunteering to be "la femme de chamber". Normally it would be expected that no one would offer themselves for this role because it is embarrassing in front of their friends and suggestive of their sexuality. ...read more.


Posner's attraction to Dakin is evident when he describes his legs as "belles jambs". At this point Dakin reverts to speaking in English to emphasis his seriousness; this gives the impression that he is tired of Posner's persistent flirting with him when he clearly knows from earlier in the novel (when Dakin discusses his relationship with the headmaster's secretary) that he is not interested. "Scripps plays piano accompaniment" to make the scene more realistic and give it an old fashioned feel to it. Again the boys speak as if from a role-play; "sur le menu". Rudge is not involved in the scene except the very beginning when he offers a possible scene for the act but is struck down by everyone else. He is the most working class of all the boys with the lowest results, and plays sports. He suggests "Une garage" because of this, the fact that it is rejected shows the difference between him and the boys; Perhaps not so eccentric and willing to go with the flow of the acting. ...read more.


He coincidently happens to be only a few years older than the boys and maybe jealousy is a factor; that his knowledge is more sophisticated than theirs. The tension is broken by the other members of the room and the headmaster's French-English introduction of the new teacher. The headmaster is almost belittled in this scene; he doesn't understand Hectors, Irwins and the boys sophisticated French, and does not manage to gain Hectors consent to grant Irwin additional lessons. The headmaster becomes impatient with "this silliness" and tries to lecture Hector about the "Oxbridge candidates" to which he replies with sarcastic and disrespectful answer of "Are they? Are you sure? Nobody has told me." Hector purposefully disrespects the headmaster in front of the boys to humiliate him, but he also predicts what the headmaster is about to ask him and is showing that he will put up a strong argument. "He covers his ears" like a big child, again his eccentric ness is shown here. Hectors reluctance to drop his lessons for Irwin shows that he enjoys teaching the boys almost too much, and does not think that it is necessary for them to go to Oxbridge. ...read more.

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