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The Fun They Had – Title
The title quite suits the story, “The Fun They Had”. Tommy and Margie find an old book and learn how the schools were different in the past from their time and how much fun the children studying in those school had. It also gives us a glimpse of future education.
The Fun They Had Characters
Margie is an eleven-year-old girl who represents future students In the twenty-second century. She is a typical young girl who dislikes school which is highly personalised and includes a television and a mechanical teacher. She studies in the comfort of her home. Her homework is checked by her mechanised teacher, a computer, and she also gets lessons from it. Margie does not like her school because she is confined to a room and has to study alone at a fixed time every day.
Margie is a curious girl. When she finds a real book in Tommy’s hands, she is eager to know about its contents. In fact, she wants to read the book herself. However, she is surprised that the book describes a school of the yesteryears which had real men as teachers and classes were conducted in a special building. She is fascinated to learn that in those times the students of the same level studied together. She concludes that the old system was much better as the students had so much fun when they studied together and could help each other. It is through Margie that the author has projected a contrast between the schools of today and the schools of the future.
Tommy, a young boy of thirteen years, plays an important role in the story as he is the one who finds a book about the schools from yesteryears. The entire action of the story begins after that. He represents the students of the future era when education will be absolutely mechanised and automated.
Tommy is very curious. As soon as he discovers a real book, he starts reading it. However, he does not like the idea of printed books which, according to him, are a waste once they have been read.
Compared to Margie, he is not as sensitive to the contents of the book. He has an air of superiority – he snubs Margie when she expresses her ignorance about old schools. But he does believe in sharing, and when Margie’s mother calls her to attend the school he assures her that they can finish the book later. Tommy has been used by the author to contrast the school education of the twentieth-century with that of the twenty-second.