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To explore the teacher/pupil relationship in the stories: The Winter Oak and the Pieces of Silver.

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Introduction

To explore the teacher/pupil relationship in the stories: The Winter Oak and the Pieces of Silver. The relationship in The Pieces of Silver is one of insecurity and fear, this is because the teacher is hard to approach and talk to. The relationship in The Winter Oak is one of belief and surprise. There is also a reversal in roles, as the teacher becomes the pupil. Karl Sealy wrote The Pieces of Silver and the author of The Winter Oak is Yuri Nagibin. Both of the writers introduce a feel of their own lives into the stories. Barbados, West Indies is where the Pieces of Silver is set. There is an awful lot of poverty in Barbados and you feel as if there is a colonial atmosphere. This is because the children are treated as if they are under control and in a squad of troops, this is shown by the repetition of words such as "inspection" and "ranks". This portrays that the children in Barbados grow up with a particular education, almost like the old education from the United Kingdom in the British Empire times. This shows irony as Barbados still use the education system they were introduced with from the British Empire. ...read more.

Middle

The use of the adjective gaping shows that the headmaster was shocked and didn't expect Clement to pay for everyone. It would also have an effect on the reader as they would create an image in their heads of the headmaster's jaw dropping. The author has also presented a different type of relationship between the pupils and the other teachers. "The teachers drew chairs and stools to their respective desks and sat down." This creates an image of obedience. The teachers are obeying everything, and doing everything Mr Chase tells them to do. This could show insecurity because they don't seem to have enough confidence to stand up and fight for rights on the children's behalf. This could show that the relationship between the other teachers and the pupils are poor, they also do not seem that bothered by the mistreatment. They have failed their responsibility to the pupils as well as the students have no respect left for them. The use of the adjective 'respective' implies that the teachers are well respected by pupils as well as the acting headmaster. Modern day Russia is also known as the Soviet Union. The Winter Oak is based on this Soviet Union which is an industrialised country. ...read more.

Conclusion

The writer portrays this by saying "but the small human being in the worn felt boots, a mysterious and wonderful future citizen." By using this extract, the writer implies that Anna is surprised that Savushkin is that type of person. It is emphasising the fact that Savushkin is a completely different boy in Anna's eyes than the person she thought she knew. Anna now understands why Savushkin is late everyday to school and thinks it is completely outstanding that boys like him could find something with so much uniqueness that it distracts anyone who walks past it. This enlightens the reader because it shows that there is a good reason behind every misunderstanding. The Winter Oak and The Pieces of Silver are both to do with surprise, misinterpret as well as unexpectedness. Both of the stories are based in schools and have culture clashes. I think the message of both the stories is to expect the unexpected from everyone and never expect less. I feel this because Anna does not expect Savushkin to turn out to be a good future citizen and Mr Case least expects Clement to pay for the rest of the boys as well as being humiliated himself. Overall both the stories are similar by the consequences and reactions, as they both include roles of reverse in the teacher/ pupil relationship. Claire Gee ...read more.

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