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Introduction of The Browning Version
This short one-act play highlights the attitude of a teenaged student towards his teacher. His comments are shocking because they are very close to reality. He imitates the voice of his teacher, Mr Crocker-Harris. He calls the man almost inhuman. He is mortally afraid of his teacher. His promotion depends on the whim or goodwill of his teacher. But he opens up when the other young science teacher encourages him to do so. He hates the Greek play because he doesn’t like the teacher’s method of teaching. Mr Crocker-Harris seems to hate people, who make an effort to like him. But according to this student, he is still not a sadist like one or two other teachers. He speaks about the poor Latin joke narrated by the teacher. The boy laughed out of common politeness, without understanding the joke. But the teacher asks him to explain the joke to the class. Even Mrs Crocker-Harris is not quite happy with his nature. She creates an excuse to send Taplow away.
The description of the teachers is damaging. It reflects upon the hopeless quality of some of the teachers.