The History Boys Movie Review

Decent Essays

The comedy in The History Boys centres around opposition created by the two teachers Hector and Irwin. Comedy is created through clear contrasts in personalities, and teaching methods. Bennett makes use of this opposition in order to display society’s norms, values and views on education. Additionally, comedy is created because the opposition creates clashes between the two teachers therefore creating conflict. During the 1980s, education ‘was in a state of change. Traditional values of order and discipline were being challenged by more progressive methods’. Therefore, when corporal punishments were banned in 1987, teachers like Hector faced difficulties and hardship because ‘old school teachers [were] unable to control their classes’. However, Irwin who is more contemporary and does not have to adapt to change his teaching methods to suit the educational reformation taking place. The contrasts create comedy because Bennett uses it to mocking the conflicting ideas.
Comedy is created though oppositions in personality. Hector has an eccentric and a rather optimistic personality, which differs to Irwin’s intellectual and ambitious personality. Hector is the ‘long-time English master’ and Irwin is a ‘very young’ supply teacher. Both teachers crave the boys’ attention and approval. The differences in personalities create comedy because it entertains the audience and makes them express amusement as the collision of personalities leads to the teachers competing for the boys

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