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Good bye mr.chips

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  • 1. GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS: PLOT SUMMARYGoodbye, Mr. Chips was written in just a week -- "more quickly, more easily, and with fewer subsequentalterations than anything I had ever written before, or have ever written since," James Hilton noted. Based inpart on the life of Hiltons own father, the novel is just over 100 pages long and tells the simple, elegant tale ofMr. Chipping, or "Chips," and his own "coming of age" alongside the thousands of boys he teaches over theyears.The story begins on the day in 1880 when Chips arrives at Brookfield Academy and has his first, disastrousencounter with a class of rowdy students. With gentle wit and kindness, however, Chips quickly earns enoughrespect from his boys to teach well, if not brilliantly. As he approaches middle age he is content enough atBrookfield, although he knows something is missing. As the novel puts it, Chips "had been there long enough tohave established himself as a decent fellow and a hard worker, but just too long for anyone to believe himcapable of ever being much more." But when Chips meets and marries Kathie on a holiday from school,everything changes: he becomes "to all appearances a new man." Although Kathie dies in childbirth just a yearlater, Chips carries his new confidence into life at Brookfield and becomes not just respected but beloved.When World War I breaks out, Chips is finally asked to take over as headmaster of the school. "For the firsttime in his life," Hilton writes, "he felt necessary -- and necessary to something that was nearest his heart." Mr.Chipss calm wisdom sees the school through the war. When he dies peacefully in his bed years later his lastwords are the names of the boys he taught over the years.BEFORE AND AFTER WORLD WAR IThe world changed completely during the years in which Mr. Chips was at Brookfield. He would have enteredthe school in the late Victorian era, taught through the Edwardian era, and died between the two great wars ofthe 20th century, thus witnessing the dawn of the modern world.This was a time of dizzying technological advance: the early years of the 20th century saw the first electriclights, telephone, telegraph, transatlantic cable, elevator, car, and airplane flight. It was also a time whenBritain went from being at the height of its imperial power -- with countries under its flag around the globe --to seeing its might begin to wane as other nations competed for technological, political, and economicadvantage.As Mr. Chips began his tenure at Brookfield, English class structure was still rigidly defined -- everyone had aplace in society, and everyone knew his or her place. But the changes wrought by World War I opened up newopportunities for women, as well as for the working classes. In their first meeting, Kathie asks Chips hisopinion on womens suffrage. By 1906 women were taking to the streets to demonstrate for the right to vote.Public sympathy for the cause grew, and when women had to take on the jobs that men left behind duringWorld War I, they proved their capability. In 1918 women won the right to vote in Britain.For an evocative look at English life in Edwardian time, you may want to view portions of the PBS televisionseries The Manor House, which portrays modern-day volunteers going "back in time" to become an upper-classfamily and their servants. Other films that portray this era are Gosford Park and The Shooting Party.WORLD WAR I AND PUBLIC SCHOOLSWhen World War I broke out in 1914, it became the largest conflict history had ever seen. In the end, theBritish Empire sent nine million men to war and lost nearly one million of them. Of these men, many werepublic school boys like those in Goodbye, Mr. Chips. The film shows the first ominous stirrings of war as thenew headmaster brings in an Officer Training Corps, and the boys develop a growing distrust of the Germanteacher, Herr Staefel.When the war first began, many in England thought it would end soon and be "the war to end all wars." Withthis attitude, and with propaganda everywhere urging young men to join the troops, it became embarrassing 1|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 2. for a man of military age not to be enlisted. But as the war wore on and uses of new weapons like automaticmachine guns, poison gas, tanks, and trench warfare began to claim thousands of lives, public opinion began toshift. Each week newspapers published lengthy casualty lists like those Chips reads to his students. ***************************** CHARACTER OF MR. CHIPS. Mr. Chips is the central character of the novel “Good Bye Mr. Chips”. It is really one man story. Thecharacter of Mr. Chips is superb stroke of the writer’s pen. The characterization is so artistic that the readerseems to fall in love with this old chap.Mr. Chips was a capable teacher. He loved his profession. He was devoted to his students and teaching. Hewas very hard working as it was shown by his devotion during the war. He intended to develop an overalldevelopment of his students’ personality. He was liked and loved by his pupils as well as by his colleagues. Heleft an everlasting impression on their minds and hearts and a good number of them came to visit him evenafter joining their practical life. Chips was a simple and straight forward gentleman. He was first taken to be weak which causedtrouble in his class. As a reaction to that he became strict and rigid. This rigidity, however, lost its intensityunder the influence of his wife and Katherine and he treated the students as his own sons. His jokes not only made children laugh but also left lasting impressions on their minds. His memoriesof the fathers and grandfathers of his pupils gave rise to delightful jokes in the class. Chips was a teacher of classical languages He was prominent for his pronunciation, which he did notcare to improve. He was traditional conservative in other walk of life. All new trends in fashion and the newmovements of women’s freedom did not win favour for him. Mr. Chips was not only practically strong but also had a strong heart, which throbbed in the broadchest. He was not a man who always tried to show his physical strength. His affairs with Mr. Ralston showedthe firmness of his belief and ideas, and warmth of his passion. His courage also inspired his students. Heeven did not care for the exploding bombs during the war and conducted his class successfully. Chips married very late. His married life was the result of accidental meeting with Katherine Bridges,who expired in a delivery case. In spite of the ideological difference, there was an enviable adjustmentbetween them. Under the influence of Katherine Chips, humour became more mature and his discipline alsoimproved .his dealings with the students became appropriate and realistic. He started taking more interest inhis school activities. It created in him a new sense of confidence and he became more popular with hisstudents. 2|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 3. Chips was a true patriot and he believed that institutions like Brookfield were steams, which fed themighty river, which was England. So, as a teacher, he had a very clear concept of his national duty, as hetaught with courage during the war. Mr. Chips is a remarkable character, who impresses the readers, his personality, his habits, hisdevotion towards his profession, loyalty towards the ideals and above all his unsuppressed humour madehim a person never to be forgotten. KATHERINE BRIDGES Katherine Bridges was a young and beautiful girl of twenty-five. She had blue, flashing eyes, freckledcheeks and smooth straw coloured hair. She was a governess out of job. She gave the impression of beingsoberly beautiful and not aggressively glamorous (alluring or tempting) .Mr. Chips came across her during hisvisit to the Lake District. Before meeting her, Chips had never shown any interest in feminine charms and hadnever thought of family or marriage. But her sweet, free, frank, fearless and impressive manners won Chipsheart. She was social and liberal. She was interested in the revolutionary ideas of the writers like Bernard Shaw,Ibsen and William Morris. She was a radical socialist. She was in favour of equality, fraternity and freedom ofwomen. She was revolutionary and was in favour of women’s right of voting. She was the most daring, dazzlingand the most modern woman in that old Victorian society of Brookfield. Being a woman did not bar Katherinefrom climbing hills and riding bicycles. Victorians frowned upon a woman visiting a man living alone, butKatherine did not hesitate to visit Mr. Chips when he was injured. In fact, she wanted woman to be havingequal right like men by being admitted to universities and being allowed to vote. Before his marriage, Chips was a dull, dry and neutral sort of person. . He had confidence, satisfaction,everything except inspiration. He drifted aimlessly through life and his teaching lacked orientation. Katherinebecame a star by which he was to steer his life Katherine made him a new man. With her impressive andcharming personality, she induced a new life in the old mind and body of Mr. Chips. She broadened his viewsand opinions, improved his discipline and sharpened his sense of humour. He was honoured and obeyed byeveryone but after his marriage people began to love him due to great change in him. Katherine gave a new dimension to the future of Brookfield. She entered like a gleam of modernity inthe ancient surrounding of Brookfield. She was the centre of attention, wherever she went. In other words, likeCaser, she came, she saw and she conquered. She persuaded Chips and other teachers to invite the footballteam of missionary school to play a match with the boys of Brookfield school. That’s why she was popularamong the boys and teacher at Brookfield. The sweeter the fragrance, the sooner it is wafted (vanished) away; similarly, Katherine’s life was shortand beautiful. She died one year after her marriage on April 1st, 1898 during child birth. She appeared like ashooting-star on the skies of Brookfield. Though she died, yet she lived in the heart and mind of Mr. Chips. Herlife left an everlasting impression on Mr. Chips life and behind the serious and sad demeanour (manner) of Mr.Chips, there was always embedded the vivacious(full of life) smile of Katherine Bridges. THE ROW WITH MR. RALSTON The gulf between the past and the future is always unbridgeable. When they do come together, there isbound to be discord. Rarely, does it result in harmony; as with Katherine and Chips. In their case, love provedto be the binding factor. On the other hand, Chips and Ralston had a plain professional relationship which wasliable to conflict. This conflict was mainly generated by the difference in their ages and ides. Both held viewswhich were poles apart in all aspects. 3|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 4. Ralston was a young man of thirty-seven when eh joined Brookfield as headmaster. His academicrecord had been brilliant all along. He came to the job full of bright new ideas for the future of the school. Chipshad to step down from the post of acting Headmaster, but this did not disappoint him at all. He was well intohis fifties and had become an institution within an institution. The staff and students considered him anintegral part of the school, and he felt himself above minor considerations of rank and posting. After Katherine’s death, his attitude to life had become somewhat philosophical. The initial shock hadslowly dissolved into a calm acceptance of the fact and her memory lived on like a soft glow in his thoughts.Being thus adjusted in his personal life, he could sit back and bask in the honour and esteem showered on himby both pupils and colleagues. He began to develop many harmless eccentricities (peculiarities) usually foundin old school teachers. These quirks of behaviour were not only accepted but even glorified by the students andteachers. So, it was a rude shock for Chips when Ralston called him to his office and asked him to retire. To besure, he was now sixty years old, but the thought of leaving Brookfield had simply never crossed his mind. Hetold Ralston he didn’t even want to consider retirement. A long argument ensued and at last Ralston eruptedinto an insulting tirade. The old teacher couldn’t understand why the headmaster considered his tattered oldgown to be slovenly. Ralston had been offended by Chips’ repeated disregard for his orders. He conveyed this to the oldteacher in a surprisingly delicate manner. But, Chips saw nothing wrong in his own ways. He couldn’t bringhimself to teach the old languages in a new and artificial way. Ralston also pointed out that his pupils weredoing miserably in examination. Here to Chips held his own opinion. He believed that education wassomething more than just passing examinations. For him, it meant the inculcation of a sense of proportion inthe students. He thought that Ralston wanted to make Brookfield a snob factory by introducing artificialmethods of teaching. The young headmaster was in the habit of going to London to mix with the newly wealthy class. In thisway, he would rope in admissions for the school. This had a salutary effect on the finances of Brookfield. But,Chips saw it as an obvious sale of education; totally against the spirit of democracy. He thought over thesethings silently. Then he rose, gathered his tattered gown and walked to the door. There, he turned and declaredhis intention of not resigning at all. Having flung the gauntlet at Ralston, he left the room. At the same moment, a little boy who had been listening outside spread the tale around. Both Chips andRalston were not ready for the reaction. The whole school rose up in favour of the old teacher. There was eventalk of a riot if Ralston forced Chips to resign. News of the tussle reached the Board of Governors. One day,the Chairman, Sir John Rivers, visited the school. Significantly, he ignored Ralston and went straight toChips. During the conversation, he assured him that he could work at Brookfield for as long as he liked. Chips was overwhelmed by this show of love and loyalty. Perhaps, no one else knew that Sir John Rivershad been his pupil. Ralston could never have imagined how deeply Chips had taken root in the hearts of hispupils and colleagues. He learned to his chagrin that some values, however, old fashioned, cannot be simplywiped away. He had the best intentions for Brookfield, but could not compare with chips because the oldteacher has given the best part of his life to the school. ********************************** BROOKFIELD The standard of an educational institution cannot be judged by any yardstick. It neither lies in thenumber of students nor the beauty of its building. If Brookfield were to be judged by these fallacious methods,it would definitely cut a sorry figure. 4|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 5. Brookfield was an old foundation and was established as a grammar school in the reign ofElizabeth I. Externally, it gave the glimpse of a group of eighteen century building centered upon aquadrangle with acres of playground beyond. The village around it was surrounded by an open fen country(marshy place). Chips joined the Brookfield in 1870 and considered it one of the streams, which fed themighty river that was England. However, in this context, Brookfield was more a leisurely brook than a swiftlyflowing stream. Unfortunately, Brookfield could acquire the status of first-rank; the school went up and down,dwindling almost to non-existence at one time and becoming almost illustrious at another. Weatherly tookover the charge as headmaster during mid-Victorian days when the school was on the decline. He restoredits fortunes somewhat; but it remained, at best a good school of the second rank. Had it not been so, Chipswould have never been able to join it. As a matter of fact, both school and schoolmaster mirrored each otherperfectly. Brookfield took pride in its relaxed atmosphere, stubbornly refusing to match the place of the outerworld. Similarly, Chips held tenaciously on to his cherished old world values. The fact that several notable families supported the school shows that it could inspire loyalty amongcertain judicious people. The same quality was to be found in Chips. Both of them stood for these precious,though unglamorous sentiments Quite a few students of Brookfield joined the ranks of history makers asjudges, members of Parliament, colonial administrators, peers and bishops. But, mainly, the school turned outmerchants, manufacturers professional men, country squires and parsons. Such people constitute the verybackbone of a society; and, by educating the middle class, Brookfield rendered yeoman’s service to the country.In this regard too, Chips was in complete harmony with the school. Throughout his career, he cared toremember only the boys who became soldiers, professionals and the like, and not the peers and administrators. Conscious of its own easy-going dignified ways, Brookfield had little tolerance for modern methods ofcommercialized education. This was amply demonstrated by what happened to Ralston. This hotheaded youngheadmaster came fired with visions of leading the school into the future. Significantly, he clashed with noneother than chips; for, the old teacher had now become Brookfield itself. The whole school rallied round Chipsand Ralston had to concede defeat. Actually, he was not at all wrong. He only made the mistake of losing thehistorical perspective. He forgot that some values have a time-honoured sanctity, and therefore, ought to betreated with reverence. He thought that Chips was an impediment (hurdle) to progress. Little did he realizethat, by belittling the old man, he was striking at the very roots of what Brookfield stood for. The school and theschoolmaster proved that dignity, honour and a sense of proportion were far more important than glamour andcommercialism. MR. CHIPS’ FAREWELL SPEECH “Parting is such a sweet sorrow………” There can hardly be anything sweet in the sorrow of saying farewell to life itself. A shadow of pathosalways lurks behind the good-natured banter at farewell parties. Farewells remind us that, after all, everythingand everyone must come to an end. Therefore, they are always heart wrenching and odd how much ithurts when a friend or loving one moves away and leaves behind silence. In the novel “Goodbye Mr. Chips” Chips deserves credit for not letting his farewell degenerate intosentimental squalor (unpleasantness) As a teacher he always avoided to burden his students with dejectedthoughts. In fact his speech was replete with crispy jokes underlying moral ideals. Despite the frequent roars oflaughter, he managed to reach out and delicately touch the hearts of all the students and teachers. The captain of the school, in his speech, had paid glowing tributes to the services rendered by Chips. Inall modesty, the old teacher attributed it to the Captain’s habit of exaggeration. He remarked that it ran in the 5|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 6. family because he had punished the Captain’s father for the same failing. The ensuing laughter covered upChip’s embarrassment at receiving such fulsome praise. Farewell speeches are usually composed of sweet and everlasting memories of past; and that eveningMr. Chips also looked back over the forty two years he had been with Brookfield. But , he chose not to dwell onthe burdensome aspect of the past . he mentioned only the sweet memories associated with the school.e.g. Heremembered the first bicycle to be used there. He told the boys about the time when there was no gas orelectricity at Brookfield. It was interesting g to learn that the staff had nominated a lamp-boy, whose job was toclean, trim and light lamps. Once, there had been a long frost and the whole school had learnt to skate on thefens. During his speech, he also narrated the time when two-third of the school went down with Germanmeasles and Big Hall was turned into hospital. The situation became more humorous when Chips related theincident, which occurred on the Mafeking night. Inadvertently, a bonfire was lit too near the pavilion and thefire –brigade had to be called. The Firemen were having their own celebrations and arrived in drunkencondition. Towards the end of his speech, Chips stuck a tender note. He said that he would never forget the face ofhis students. If, later in life, he ever failed to recognize anyone, it would only because of the changed features ofthat boy. He also owed that he would always remember them as they were. He turned the track of his farewellspeech from sadness to fun by mentioning the Chairman, who had unruly hair and poor grammar when he wasa little boy. In this way, he felt his pupils as he had always kept them; happy and light hearted. By the skillfuluse of humour he avoided exploiting the emotions of the innocent students. Actually he did not need anydisplay of sympathy from them because his calm and poise won by devotion and service to Brookfieldtranscended such pretty consideration. Even his parting words carried only a hint of the wistfulness in hisheart: “Think of me sometime, as I shall certainly think of you”. GOOD BYE MR. CHIPS HAS ANTIWAR THEMEWhat a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys andhappiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors,and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.War cannot be justified under any rhyme and reason. When the World War I broke out in 1914, it became thelargest conflict that the history had ever seen. The British Empire sent nine million men to war and lost nearlyone million of them. Most of them were the public school boys like those mentioned in the “Goodbye Mr.Chips”.This war was “the first shock and then the first optimism” as many in England thought it would end soon andbe “the war to end all wars”. With this attitude and propaganda everywhere the army was urging the youngmen to join the troops regardless of age and height. As in chapter No.13, it has been quoted that Forrester wasthe smallest boy at Brookfield, who was killed in 1918. Older men declare war. But its the youth who must fight and die! {Herbert Hoover}To Mr. Chips, it seemed tragically sensational when the first old Broofieldian was killed in action. Mr. Chipscriticized the Officer Training Corps in the following words, when he came to know that the boys from the sameschool fought against France hundred years ago:- “Strange, in a way, that the sacrifices of one generation cancel out those of another” 6|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 7. For the first time in history, new weapons of mass destruction were used killing hundred thousand of citizens.Each week newspapers published lengthy casualty lists like those Chips or Chatteris read out on every Sundaynight.Brookfield was an educational institution yet the Military Campus sprung up near Brookfield and BrookfieldOTC was developed swiftly; that’s why most of the younger masters were in military uniform for training. The Antiwar theme has also been depicted through Mr. Chips comments about food rationing system duringthe war as he called the rissole (cake of minced meet “abhorrendum” i.e. meat to be abhorred.Mr. Chips had sympathy for Max Staefel, the German master, while other had despised him because hebelonged to an enemy country although he served at Brookfield.Mr. Chips had anti-war ideas i.e. “the ideas of dignity and generosity that were becoming rare in afrantic world”. About “bayonet-practice” Chips held the view that it was a very vulgar way of killingpeople”.According to him all the explosives used in the war were the invention of a new kind of mischief by some stinkmerchant in his laboratory. Moreover, the affairs of war were least important to him as he kept his usuallecture even during the air-raid.Through the ideas and comments of Mr. Chips James Hilton has very aptly highlighted war as unwelcomedevil passion. War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. ~Thomas Mann OBJECTIVE. a. The writer of the Novel “Goodbye Mr. Chips” is JAMES HILTON. b. The real name of Mr. Chips was MR. CHIPPING c. Mr. Chips was born in 1848. d. Mr. Chips lived at Mrs. Wickett’s after his retirement. e. Mr. Chips joined Brookfield in 1870. f. Mr. Wetherby was the headmaster when Mr. Chips joined Brookfield g. Mr. Chips taught at Melbury Public School for one year. h. Brookfield was established in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, as a grammar school. i. The school was rebuilt in the reign of George I. j. Mr. Wetherby joined Brookfield in 1840. k. Mr. Chips retired at the age of Sixty-Five. l. At the time of retirement, Mr. Chips was presented with Cheque, a Writing desk and a Clock. m. Mr. Chips met Katherine Bridges in 1896 during the summer vacation in Lake District while climbing Great Gable. n. Mr. Chips was Forty-Eight when he met Katherine. o. Katherine was Twenty-five when she met Mr. Chips. p. Mr. Chips married Katherine in London a week before the beginning the Autumn Term. q. Mr. Meldrum died in 1900 after serving the school for thirty years. r. Chip’s wife and child died on April 1st 1898. s. After the death of Mr. Meldrum, Mr. Chips became the Acting Headmaster of the school. t. Mr. Ralston was thirty-seven when he joined the Brookfield. u. In 1913 Chips decided to retire at the age of 65. v. In July 1916 Chatteris met Chips at Mrs. Wickett’s with a request to join the school once again. w. On November 11th, 1918 Chips caught cold. x. Mr. Chips spent last fifteen years of his age at Mrs. Wickett’s. 7|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018
  • 8. y. In 1930 Chips made his will. z. In 1933, a small boy, Linford came to see Mr.Chips. aa. Dr. Merivale, Mrs. Wickett, and Cartwright-the headmaster of the Brookfield School were the last attendants when Chips fell ill. bb. The first boy Chips ever punished was Colley. cc. Mrs. Wickett was the incharge of linen room. dd. Chartteris read out the name of the boys killed in the war on every Saturday. ee. Sir John Rivers was Chairman Board of Governors. ff. Chips Graduated from Cambridge. gg. Chips wanted to write a book based on his memories 8|PageMUHAMMAD AZAM, LECTURER,F.G SCIENCE DEGREE COLLEGE, WAH CANTTPh-03335418018

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