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

Who does Bennett present as a better teacher: Hector or Irwin?

Extracts from this document...


Who does Bennett present as a better teacher: Hector or Irwin? In your response ensure that you: - Use quotation and close analysis of dramatic technique to support your ideas. - Show some awareness of biographical, cultural or historical context. The initial presentation of Irwin is clearly negative. In the opening scene of the play Bennett presents to us a clever but cynical historian, advising MPs how to sell a nasty bill that would restrict trial by jury. Utilising his experience as a TV historian, recommending an "amused tolerance" when faced with cameras. We learn further on in the play that Irwin was a school teacher, employed to aid students with their entrance exams to Oxbridge, and throughout the play Bennett conveys Irwin as a liar, maybe slightly manipulative, and questionable sexuality. Throughout the play, some of Irwin's speech is comparable to the likes of certain revisionist TV historians, such as Andrew Roberts as the nineteen-eighties was the birth of TV historians: "Life only comes alive when contemplating its toilet arrangements." This statement made by Irwin when he is recording his TV show. ...read more.


This effectively conveys Irwin as a teacher whose interests have been focused on only getting through exams. This could be perceived as a positive attribute; however it lacks the development of the boys' social skills. Schools can be defined as educational institutions, but it could be argued that they are also used to allow pupils to gain sufficient knowledge (non-academic) to successfully integrate into society, when they grow up. Another fundamental idea is what other people say about Irwin and Hector. The headmaster describes Hector's results as "unpredictable and unquantifiable." This directly notates to his teaching techniques not being effective. Although the headmaster is possibly correct about Hector in the sense of exams, he could be slightly naive as Hector contributes to the boys learning in other ways. For example, Hector has given the boys part of his personality. On numerous occasions the boys behave like Hector, and have the same tone as him. The headmaster's only real focus is results. The headmaster talks to Irwin frankly explaining how he doesn't want him to "fuck up". He does not talk about Irwin behind his back, this could be because he is a new addition to the school or because he feels no need to try and find out information about Irwin because he feels that Irwin is doing a good job. ...read more.


Put simply Hector encourages the boys to copy him; Irwin encourages the boys to think for themselves and be original. To conclude I think Irwin is the better teacher. This is my opinion for numerous reasons. Firstly he is the most inspirational teacher out of the two. Dakin states that he's "never wanted to please anybody the way [he does]" Irwin. "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." This quote by William Arthur Ward describes Irwin perfectly in my opinion. Secondly Irwin teaches, he does not use the boys for any other purpose, even if he is homosexual he does not act out his desires with the boys, which shows a greater level of respect and decent behaviour to the boys. Finally even though it could be said that he was a liar, maybe even a cheat, he does manage to get all the boys to Oxbridge, proving that he is a good teacher and he gets results. I think part of his success of his views on exams. Hector feels they are "the enemy of education," although Irwin sympathises with this opinion he accepts that they are a part of life and adapts to them. ...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 Authors 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 Authors essays

  1. How does Frayn present young Stephen in the first three chapters of "Spies"? How ...

    An example of this can be seen in chapter 1, when Stephen is explaining about methods of travelling to school. He says "Green's the right colour for a bicycle, just as it's the wrong one for a belt or a bus".

  2. How do Paulas early experiences shape the way she develops as a person?

    It also conveys a menacing image of an abusive father. This could contribute to the formation of Paula's sexual identity as she provides negative perceptions of sex and she sees herself as "a dirty slut". It is possible that Paula got married to escape her home life but ended up

  1. 'To what extent are pages 63 to 67 typical of Alan Bennett's style and ...

    Indeed, role play is a recurring style, used by Bennett to highlight the boys intellectual abilities and how Hector's 'transmission of knowledge' has shaped his pupils; providing them with an 'antidote' to all life's problems. However, the learning of poetry off by heart is used by Bennett, most prominently to

  2. How does Alan Bennett expose Miss Fozzards character in Miss Fozzard finds her feet? ...

    The colleagues even resort to clamant puns - "the boot's on the other foot", and Miss Fozzard somewhat embarrasses herself by showing her complete oblivion to Joy Poyser, and remarking on the strange and, as far as she is concerned, unprovoked and random behaviour of her colleagues.

  1. Free essay

    By what means does Alan Bennett present the grim reality of Wilfreds existence?

    "There's a playtime at a quarter to eleven. And they come out at four." The nature of this observation also indicates to us that even though he is locked up in a cell, he cannot escape or get away from his paedophilic nature, and he soon finds a consistency on

  2. A critical exploration of Irish Society at the end of the 19th century. ...

    Therefore, Christopher is portrayed as a man atypical of those from the Big House Ascendancy in the late 19th century. Christopher also reveals himself to be a weak character when it comes to dealing with his agent Mr Lambert's embezzlement of money from the estate accounts.

  1. How does Jenny Diski present the experience of seeing penguins in Antarctica?

    This will hold the reader's attention. I feel the author empathises with the penguins, not only through the pathos she creates through her depictions, but through the employment of litotes and a shift in perspective. The perspectival shift ("their noisy boats") uses "their" to refer to humans, patently from the penguin's perspective; she appears to empathise as she speaks from the penguins' view.

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    but from the viewpoint of a senior, an elder, a grandfather ? as he endures the heartache of a kind of bereavement. The last of his many little grand-daughters has fallen in love and is about to marry - flying the nest for good, unlike the doves in his beloved dovecote ? over whose flight he has some say.

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