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Explore the dramatic impact and importance of Irwin's third lesson (pp34 - 41)

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Explore the dramatic impact and importance of Irwin's third lesson (pp34 - 41) * Establish the significance of the passage to the play as a whole. The location of Irwin's third lesson is not stated in the play, which allows actors' flexibility on where they could act it. The scene breaks immediately into Timms asking, "Where do you live, sir?" followed by several other fairly personal questions such as, " Do you exist on an unhealthy diet of takeaway food, sir, or do you whisk up gourmet meals for one?". Noticeably the boys are still calling Irwin "Sir" and therefore have not forgotten their place. This has an impact on the reader; the unsophisticated questions allow the reader to take the boys seriously and accept that they are normal and don't always quote from novels and such. This is significant to the play as a whole because it establishes the boy's relationship with Irwin. They are testing his limits and his humour. The audience builds their own views of Irwin during this scene. Most of Rudge's speech is simply ignored because the boys know that he isn't quite as bright as them. After Irwin's speech about "Henry VIII" he comments, "an angle. You want us to find an angle". ...read more.


This trust issue is similar to the boy's faithfulness to Hector; not telling anyone about him handling their genitals. They boy's think of Hector's lessons as time where they can be more "thoughtful" and express their opinions on various topics, whereas they see Irwin as a teacher who is going to try and get them into Oxbridge. They therefore convey Irwin's lessons as purely factual because they are so used to learning fact after fact to achieve high grades. Irwin wants them to express their opinions in their essays but the boys cannot understand how or why because it is such a contrast to what they have been taught all their lives. The reader can now appreciate how hard Irwin's job is, in persuading the boys that their current knowledge is what they should be including in their essays; the only way that they stand a chance of getting into Oxbridge. This discussion fluidly reverts back to the start of the scene with Akthar asking "This isn't your gap year, is it, sir?" The way the boys effortlessly switch between complicated quotations from multiple poems to simple school boy questions has impact because it shows how intelligent they can be yet not fully mature. ...read more.


Irwin is slightly frustrated that the "lesson has been a complete waste of time." The lesson was similar to one of Hector's lessons; the boys manipulated Irwin by asking him continuous questions about his personal life whilst baffling him with their knowledge of various media. Dakin goes ahead and compares the lesson to one of Hector's. Irwin seems almost insulted by this and retorts, "Yes, you little smart-arse, but he's not trying to get you through an exam." There is no explanation mark; therefore this line could be portrayed as angry. Perhaps Irwin sees Hector in some of the boys and in annoyed by the fact that they do not seem to have the ability to include their interesting quotes in their essays for him. Irwin also states how Hector is not trying to get the boys through an exam, further expressing his views on how pointless Hector's lessons are. This is has dramatic impact because it increases the tension between Irwin and Hector. The scene is significant to the play as a whole because it is suggesting that Hector has provided the knowledge that the boys need to pass they exams, but the boys do not realize that this knowledge is exactly what Irwin is trying to encourage them to use. Irwin's job is made all the more difficult by Hector's teaching and the trust that the boys have in him. ...read more.

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