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

To Sir With Love by E.R Braithwaite - Exploring Themes - Racism

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked To Sir With Love by E.R Braithwaite - Essay Q: Explore the theme of racism in the novel. A: To Sir With Love, is a testimony, written by E.R Braithwaite. A book which centers on a teacher, who takes his occupation as a ?sheer reality?, depicts his struggles on developing a relationship with his rude, disobedient and hostile students. In fact, it is necessarily not the fault of the students, as they expected Braithwaite to be inept, as his predecessors. The theme of racism is prevalent in the novel. The first aspect of racism is explicit prejudice. The prejudice can be depicted through the scene which took place on the bus, from Aldgate to Greenslade. The woman?s refusal to sit with Braithwaite shows the seriousness and intensity of the problem of racism, in the 1950s. Not all of the Londoners were racial towards Braithwaite or all the coloured people, as it could be seen in the conductor?s supportiveness of Braithwaite and his ever growing irritation of the lady, who continued to show expressions of ignorance towards the situation. Through Braithwaite?s soliloquy, it implicitly implies that the higher social class were more corrupted by society and discourteous to the coloured people than the middle or the lower social class. This can be shown through the sentences: ?There were a part of the world?s greatest cities and at the same time common as hayseeds? and ?courteous deference to a slim, smartly dressed woman? (shows she could afford money to buy alluring clothes). ...read more.

Middle

Braithwaite who experiences racism implicitly, explicitly and verbally, is indignant. This can be noted in his soliloquy lines: ?What a superior bitch!? (when the lady refused to sit next to him) and ?I was always subject to explosive anger, but for years I have been making a determined attempt to exercise control of my temper? (when Weston called him: Black sheep). However, in later phases of the story, the acts of racism, he endures are converted from anger to hurt. This can be seen in the scene, where the class was discussing on whether Potter should fret for his action ? disrespecting and cussing at a teacher. Braithwaite said Potter should definitely ask for forgiveness, whilst the rest of the class said that Potter was right in cussing, as because of the teacher (Mr. Bell), Buckley, got hurt. Seales, a student in Braithwaite?s class, says: ?Easy for you to say, Sir, you have never experienced a time where someone pushed you around? and Braithwaite responds to Seales: ?I have been pushed around. I have been hurt, really hurt. I sometimes awoke to painful, quick remembering?? This implies that all the acts, in which he had easily ignored, or overlooked, at that time, struck a chord on him, in the long run; un-noticed. Braithwaite also is physically hurt, in one scene, where he was violently sick (through regurgitation), after the interview, and this could be seen in the lines: ?I was violently sick?. ...read more.

Conclusion

Racism has not only had bad effects on the lives of the people discussed in the story. It is because of racism, Braithwaite landed the job as a Teacher, and was able to transform the lives of the students, who were free disciples into people who could function and live in the world, without conflict or disagreement. Braithwaite knew that schoolbook teachings could not be related and with no relation to their lives, it was useless, so he discussed with them freely about disclosed topics like relationships, and through the ignorance of the students? taunts towards him and the careful teachings, and his knowledge of knowing their background ? that they were students who were poor, were surrounded by social vermin, prostitutes and bad influences and went to bed, sometimes hungry, he was able to win the hearts of all his students. The sentence: ?Some of them grew strong within ? They are all now willing to learn. They may turn out to be decent folk? shows how extensively Braithwaite evolved their character, and this sets in contrast to Weston?s opinion about them: ?blithe spirits?. In conclusion, racism was regarded as a significant and very present issue in the 1950s, than it is today, in London. Racism took place everywhere. This restricted careers and diminished dreams of all the coloured people inhabiting the city. To Sir With Love, is an autobiographical text, which truly reflects on the racial atmosphere of cosmopolitan London. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Other Authors essays

  1. To Sir With Love - Trace Braithwaite's Relationship with his students

    One hurdle that he had to overcome was the students' social background. They had been 'poorly fed, clothed and housed', in places where the breadwinner was 'chronically unemployed'. Their neighbourhood was 'infested' with 'social vermin'. These children, I think, had never had any satisfactory father or role models that they could look up to.

  2. The Chrysalids - notes and questions on chapters 1-8

    Parents tell their small children about repulsive fringes people who eat children, to keep them in line. This is much like scaring kids with stories of witches and devils. This is an example of how religious mythology deceives its followers about the true nature of evil, which is not found in devils and ghosts, but in people, even religious people.

  1. Comparison of 'harry Potter and the philosopher's stone' and 'Aice in Wonderland'

    Hagrid describes the Ministry of Magic as 'messin things up as usual' and we get a very similar impression of the queen in Carroll's novel . Like many other novels from the Victorian times, Carroll's novel also has a reference to the class.

  2. Text response to "Border Crossing" by Pat Barker

    Tom uses the word "because" six times in a paragraph, trying to excuse his behaviour for that incident. Tom comments that he "was frightened" and that "three children were saved that day" meaning that not only the little boy, but Tom and his friend were saved from losing their childhood too.

  1. Are Lord And Lady Capulet Good Parents?

    fakir that "wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their own sorrow" which is also the moral of the story and their "light laughter jarred somewhat" using alliteration to give a light feel as they laughed uncomfortably at what he said.

  2. Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers in 'Much Ado about Nothing'. Consider ...

    Claudio being a Lord of Florence fitted the bill perfectly, being handsome and dashing was just a bonus. A woman's job was primarily to run the household and produce male heirs to inherit their husband's title and fortune.

  1. How do Gold Cadillac and Country Lovers differ in their presentation of Prejudice?

    only'" However, unlike Mildred Taylor, Nadine Godimer's life does not mirror any of the characters presented in Country Lovers. The energetic tone of Gold Cadillac is achieved through dialogue. The reader is immediately engaged with the details of the family life.

  2. The Kite Runner. Vocabulary and Questions

    Now Baba is more like a servant himself. These differences leave Baba perpetually frustrated. In small ways, he continues trying to reclaim his life in Kabul. Section 4: Chapters 12-13 1. Vocabulary Aspiring- 1. To yearn (for) or have a powerful or ambitious plan, desire, or hope (to do or be something): to aspire to be a great leader 2.

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