Summary of James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips Essays

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Summary of James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips James Hilton’s novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips is the story of an English schoolmaster who dedicated his entire adult life teaching young boys. He was a somewhat shy person. Nevertheless he was a competent school teacher, professional and attractive in many different ways. Although his first teaching experience was not successful, he was determined to become a good schoolmaster. After coming to Brookfield, he began to warm up to his students. But more important he brought discipline to his school which is the requirement for good teaching—something he did not achieve while teaching at Melbery. After teaching 25 years at Brookfield, Chips was still unmarried. Everyone thought that he would…show more content…
Hilton’s simple, sentimental story about an English school teacher, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, remains as unabashedly accessible as it must have been when it was written. This novel is not a call for whole sale reform of an educational system. Instead, Hilton uses the Chipping character as a metaphor for the value of education in giving the student that most indefinable of the possessions of civilization, a sense of proportion. The story recaps the professional life of a devoted teacher. The story is propelled cheerfully along, through flashbacks and ironic anecdote. Although the author’s approach may be said to be sentimental, the construction of the plot and the direct yet delicate way in which the themes are driven home are quite appealing. The book does indeed read as though the author understood the potential in his story from the opening paragraph onward. Mr. Chips’ school bound world is not a “real world” in many ways, and yet the novel retains a sense of warmth and reality that many school boy days books can’t maintain. Hilton squeezes into a brief short story gentle wit, a mild love story, and shrewd observations about the importance o a sense of permanence. In some ways, Mr. Chipping is a metaphor for the survival of English middle-class life in the wake of the first world war. We might also view Hilton’s creation of Mr. Chipping in the late 1930s as an attempt to preserve the English middle-class sense of proportion and the

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