The History Boys - Revision

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Mind Map on The History Boys - Revision , created by 121197cm on 02/28/2014.
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The History Boys - Revision
1 Characters
1.1 Posner
1.1.1 Posner is in love with Dakin. He watches and follows him. Dakin is aware and unintresed.
1.1.2 Posner is aware that Irwin is facinated by Dakin too - Because he notices him watching Dakin aswell
1.1.3 Posner doesn't fit in with the others. He is not accepted by Hector in the same way - He is never picked to ride on the bike.
1.2 Lockwood, Akthar and Crowther
1.2.1 The other three boys are not established as strong personalities. Appropriatly they become Magistrates and Headmasters in their careers.
1.3 Timms
1.3.1 Timms is the class clown. he teases Irwin in particular- although it is Dakin that gets told off for it.
1.4 Headmaster (Felix)
1.4.1 The headmaster is presented as a fool. His attitude towards Oxbridge is mocked by the other teachers.The boys share the teachers' low opinion of him, for example when they trick him about their French Lesson.
1.4.2 He is a hypocrite, as revealed by Dakin blackmailing him, The hypocrisy is also evident when the headmaster does not want to sack Hector, asking him to resign instead, making it easier for himself.
1.4.3 He is the stereotype of a particular kind of headmaster, who is out of contact with the students, but pretends that he isn't.
1.5 Irwin
1.5.1 irwin is only a few years older than the boys, Employed specifically to get the boys into Onbridge, he pretends to have been to oxford.
1.5.2 irwin is attracted to Dakin. He does not want to be like Hector, but is unable to resist when Dakin offers himself to him. irwin is diffrent to Hector in that it seems the boys have power over him, both in lessons and when dakin approaches him.
1.5.3 Irwin is not a very sympathetic character: his cynical side is emphasised from the opening scene, as a spin-doctor. he does not help Posner when he confesses his troubles with Dakin. But he gets the boys into Oxbridge. His method worked.
1.5.4 he teaches the boys to approach history in a way which can be seen as a game - taking an original approach by simply arguing the opposite to what the normal belief is. They take it as a game.
1.6 Mrs Lindtot
1.6.1 She contributes to the themes both of the role of a woman and to what history is. she tells the boys that women have been excluded from their view of history, and that their view of life is too male-centric. as the obly woman who appears on stage she shoes that the world of the school is an unnatural one.
1.6.2 The boys' original history teacher, Mrs Lintott has got them excellent A level grades by concentrating on facts.
1.6.3 She is used to create humor in the play. for example she often shocks by using taboo language to describe the head.
1.6.4 she is aware of the line between pupils and teachers. She advises Irwin that it is hard for pupils to learn that teachers are human beings- but that it is very inportant for teachers not to try to tell the pupils that they are.
1.6.5 She is a cynical observer of what happens in the play. She functions as a confidante for the other teachers. She is excluded from their power strugglr so is seen as neutral
1.7 Rudge
1.7.1 Rudge is the least academically able of the boys. The teachers regard him as a lost cause, and are very surprised when he gets in.
1.7.2 Rudge is patronised by students and teachers, but he is not stupid. He knows that they do so, and challenges it at the end, winning a cooncession from Mrs Lintott
1.7.3 He is the most hardworking, as shown by the effort he puts into writing down and doing what his teachers says.
1.8 Hector
1.8.1 He is charistmatic, eccentric and refuses to conform to modern teaching, or to the Headmaster's desires for Oxbridge places.
1.8.2 he inspires the boys - they are deeply influenced by his opinions on art and literature. Mrs Lintott reflects that hector is frequently remembered with great affection in the Old Boys' newsletter.
1.8.3 he is a paedophile. he encourages the boys to ride pillion on his motorbike and then touches them up. The boys see this as a price to pay.
1.8.4 Hector teaches the boys large chunks of literature by heart, but doesn't see that they should be used. he doesn't like irwin's approach, whiich he sees as mere journalism.
1.9 Dakin
1.9.1 Dakin is the leader of the boys. He is Hector's and irwin's favourite. Posner loves him. Dakin is the most advanced of the boys.
1.9.2 Dakin uses sex to get what he wants - he manipulates both hector and Irwin. He offers himself to Irwin as a reward or thank you for helping him get his scholarship to Oxford.
1.9.3 It is Dakin who gets Hector reinstated at the school, by blackamiling the Head about his behaviour towards Fiona.
1.9.4 Dakin doesn't really care about other people, for example his careless attitude towards Posner, and the way he talks about Fiona. His eventual career as a Tax Lawyer, or at least Mrs Lintott's reaction to it, suggests he is not a very moral person.
1.10 Scripps
1.10.1 Scripps acts as a narrator in the play. He introduces a number of scenes and some of the characters. His role is also to reveal the thoughts of some of the characters.
1.10.2 Both Dakin and Posner tell him things, and therefor us. this works because although Scripps observes and reports, he does not really take much part in the action.
2 Plot
2.1 Plot Summary
2.1.1 hector is discovered to be groping the boys and asked to leave. he is allowed to stay to the end of the term, sharing his classes with Irwin.
2.1.2 At the end of the play the boys get into university. hector gives a lift to irwin,whick ends in a accident.Hector is killed and Irwin is left in a wheelchair.
2.2 Play Structure
2.2.1 The play is divided into two acts- before and after the interval.
2.2.2 Apart from that it is divided into scenes which are not numbered. Each bullet point represents a scene
3 Context
3.1 Alan Bennett
3.1.1 Well known British writer.
3.1.2 Born in 1934
3.1.3 attended a grammar school in Leeds and then Oxford University.
3.2 Differences between the book and the film
3.2.1 What happens to Posner rat the end.
3.2.2 Amount of characters that appear.
3.2.3 The setting: the book is limited to mainly the school grounds.
3.3 Criticisms of The History Boys
3.3.1 Based on Bennets own experiences of sixth form in the 50's
3.3.2 Its unlikly students in a sixth form have never been sent to Onbridge before.
3.3.3 accused of having things placed in the wrong time period.
3.3.4 Although set in the 80's its pop culture references are from the 40's and 50's
4 Themes
4.1 What is History?
4.1.1 History Repeats itself
4.1.1.1 Hector suggests that this also happens in school, as boys come and go.
4.1.1.2 Irwin suggests that history repeats itself, with his instructions to study Henry VIII to find out about any period in history.
4.1.2 The history in the play isn't accurate either. it contain anachronisms. This implies that history is not necessarily accurate either.
4.1.3 The play takes place in the past so what happens is already set. The boys are also studying History.
4.1.3.1 Irwins wheelchair is echoed
4.1.3.2 The boys futures are echoed
4.2 The role of a women.
4.2.1 Mrs Lintott
4.2.1.1 The teacher who got them excellent A level results, is not regarded enough to get them into Oxbridge.
4.2.2 Fiona
4.2.2.1 Used as a sex object.
4.2.3 In History
4.2.3.1 Mrs lintott points out their university interview may be by a woman, this seems strange to the boys.
4.2.3.2 Her and Rudge represent people who are under represented in the study of History.
4.2.4 All male environment is unnatural, the boys view of history is male dominated.
4.2.4.1 Boys view of women is entirely sexual
4.3 What is a good Teacher?
4.3.1 Irwin
4.3.1.1 He is a hypocrite who challenges but does not offer a truthful alternative.
4.3.1.2 He is barely a teacher at all.
4.3.2 Hector
4.3.2.1 he inspires but educates with no particular aim in mind, it appears. He reveals towards the end of the play he never meant to be a teacher, but only intended to do it for a short time.
4.3.3 Mrs Lintott
4.3.3.1 She got the boys through their A levels with factually accurate answers, but it is implied early in the play that this is not enough. She is the only devoted teacher.
4.3.4 The Headmaster.
4.4 what do the boys learn from their differentteachers?
4.4.1 By a crude measure of success, the teaching must all be good - they have good A levels and all get into Oxbridge. All are successful in life with one exception. But Posner's failure cannot be soley attributed to his teachers.
4.5 What is education?
4.5.1 The Boys
4.5.1.1 They have a fairly cynical attitude to education. Their approach is to please whichever teacher is in the room at the time.
4.5.2 Mrs Lintott
4.5.2.1 Education is about truth. She worries about hector's emphasis on art, suggesting that in her past experience pupils who didn't succeed academically were therefore assumed to be artists
4.5.3 Irwin
4.5.3.1 he says education is all about getting the results you want.
4.5.3.2 He is accused of delievering journalism rather than history - something which is flashy rather than something which is serious. This is supported by his later jobs.
4.5.3.3 He doesn't think that there is a truth or if there is, it is nothing to do with examinations.
4.5.4 Hector
4.5.4.1 Hector regards exams as the enemy of education. It can be seen as an approach which values the really important things that education offers rather than turning them into tools to pass exams.
4.5.4.2 He says the reason for education is to pass it on, preserve the learning.
4.5.5 The Headmaster.
4.5.5.1 Main concern is league table results.
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