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Chapter 6- The Browning Version Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
Comment on the attitude shown by Taplow towards Crocker-Harris.

Answer 1 :

Taplow has very more bitter feelings about his teacher Crocker-Harris. He is a student in the lower fifth grade and feels that he would specialise next term if he got his remove, of which he is uncertain as Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell the students the results like the other teachers. As a rule, the class results should only be announced by the headmaster on the last day of term but Taplow feels that none other than Mr Crocker-Harris waits to inform students of their result. He is not interested in the Classical literature that is taught by Mr Crocker-Harris.

He feels science is more interesting than studying Classics such as The Agamemnon, which he calls “muck”. Moreover, he does not like the way it is taught to them. The Agamemnon had a lot of Greek words and Mr Crocker-Harris punished them for not getting them right.


 
Taplow feels more bitter as he had been given extra work to do for missing a day of school the previous week when he was ill. It was the last day of school and he wished to play golf instead. It was just on the previous day that Mr Crocker- Harris had told Taplow that he had got what he deserved. Taplow feels that Mr Harris might have given him lesser marks to make him do extra work. He adds that Mr Harris is “hardly human”. He also imitates his teacher.

When Frank suggests that Taplow could go and play golf, Taplow is shocked as nobody takes that kind of liberty with Mr Crocker-Harris. Taplow calls Mr Crocker-Harris, “the Crock”, and says that he is worse than a sadist. If he were a sadist, he wouldn’t be as frightening because he would then show he had some feelings. His inside, feels Taplow, is like a “shrivelled nut” and he seems to hate people who like him.

However, Taplow admits that despite everything Mr Crocker-Harris does, he still likes him. Although, he says that Mr Crocker-Harris feels uncomfortable about people liking him. He says once in class Mr Crocker-Harris made one of his classical jokes, and nobody laughed because nobody understood it. However Taplow knew that it was meant to be funny, so he laughed. Mr Crocker-Harris said that he was pleased with Taplow’s knowledge of Latin and wanted him to explain the joke to the rest of the class.

Question 2 :
Does Frank seem to encourage Taplow’s comments on Crocker-Harris?

Answer 2 :

Taplow comes to meet Mr Crocker-Harris when he meets Frank. From his conversation with Taplow, Frank realises that the boy does not like Mr Crocker-Harris. Frank then confirms with Taplow, “You sound a little bitter, Taplow.” He then pretends to console him by reasoning that he would get his remove the next day for taking on extra work. Taplow vents his dislike for Mr Harris and says that he is “hardly human”.

But after saying so, he apologises to Frank for talking too much. Frank pretends to be unhappy but asks Taplow to “repeat” what Mr Harris had said to him. Taplow imitates him. Frank pretends to look strict and asks him to be.quiet. He then asks Taplow at what time he was supposed to meet Mr Crocker-Harris. He then tells Taplow that Mr Crocker-Harris was already ten minutes late and suggests that Taplow could go and play golf.
 
Taplow is shocked and expresses his apprehension if Mr Crocker-Harris should know. Frank envies the effect Mr Crocker-Harris seems to have on boys in the class; they seem to be scared to death of him. Taplow confesses that Mr Crocker-Harris, unlike any other person, does not care for being liked. Frank attempts to instigate Taplow by deriding students for using the teacher’s need to be liked to their own advantage. Taplow remarks that a few teachers were sadists, and Mr Crocker-Harris was worse because he had no feelings.

When Taplow recounts the episode when he had laughed at Mr Crocker-Harris’s jokes, and Mr Crocker-Harris wanted ‘ him to explain it to the rest of the class, but Frank just laughs at that. He, thus, seems to enjoy the low opinion Taplow has of Mr Crocker-Harris.

Question 3 :
What do you gather about Crocker-Harris from the play?

Answer 3 :

Mr Crocker-Harris is an old Classics teacher at a British public school, where he’s been teaching for many years. He apparently wants the children to work hard at their lessons and it is for this reason that he has called Taplow to his office. Unfortunately, students do not like him and neither do they like his teaching methods. Taplow feels science is more interesting than studying Classics such as The Agamemnon, which he calls “muck”.

Moreover, he does not like the way it is taught to them. It has a lot of Greek words and Mr Crocker-Harris punishes them for not getting them right. Taplow feels Mr Harris might have given him lesser marks to make him do extra work. He adds that Mr Harris is “hardly human”. Thus underlining that Mr Harris has lost the student’s trust and respect.

He is a fastidious and a rule-bound person who is the only one who follows the rule of letting the headmaster announce the results on the last day of term.Taplow imitates Mr Crocker-Harris but all the same is frightened of letting Mr Harris know. The students seem to be scared to death of him. Calling Mr Crocker-Harris, the Crock, Taplow says that he is worse than a sadist as he shows no feelings.

He feels uncomfortable about people liking him. Mr Harris does not seem to respond to students who try to warm up to him. When Taplow laughed at his joke, Mr Crocker-Harris had wanted him to explain it to the rest of the class. The poor man is an unfortunate teacher.

Question 4 :
A sadist is a person who gets pleasure out of giving pain to others. Given below are some dictionary definitions of certain kinds of persons. Find out the words that fit these descriptions.

Answer 4 :

  1. A person who considers it very important that things should be correct or genuine, for example, in the use of language or in the arts: Perfectionist/Purist
  2. A person who believes that war and violence are wrong and will not fight in a war: Pacifist
  3. A person who believes that nothing really exists: Nihilist
  4. A person who is always hopeful and expects the best in all things: Optimist
  5. A person who follows generally accepted norms of behaviour: Conformist
  6. A person who believes that material possessions are all that matter in life: Materialist


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Chapter 6- The Browning Version Contributors

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