Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review title: To sir, with Love.

Book title: To sir, with love.
Author:  E.R. Braithwaite
Publisher: The Bodley Head
Genre: Autobiographical Fiction. 
Year of publishing: 1959

To Sir, With Love is a 1959 autobiographical novel written by E. R. Braithwaite set in the East End of London. The novel is based on true events concerned with Braithwaite taking up a teaching post in a school there.

The author brings in the weave of twist and turns of his fate, on his new teaching job and the nature of different adults he have encountered in his new profession.  

The book takes us through the life of the author regardless of having outstanding qualifications is denied job fit for his education because of his skin color. Thus, he takes the teaching job at Greenslade School in East End London, as that was the possible best job he could get at that time. But, the school's culture presents another shock to him. Having worked in Royal Air Force, Braithwaite finds it hard to be surrounded by undisciplined, unmotivated and unclean students. He tries to teach them but he becomes a victim of their pranks, rough attitude and rude remarks. He decides to change his teaching style. So, instead of teaching them book lessons, he starts giving them life lessons. He gradually begins to prepare them for life. And that's when things begin to shape and his students start responding positively to his efforts.

The book clearly stated the challenges he had faced, filled with suspense as he gets into the task to handle ill-mannered students. As you read on and meet the better end on how he have overcome all the challenges is an amazing. However, left with the thought as to how could he have made such a huge commitment in changing the behaviors of his students is yet another miracle we see through the book angle.

The suspense slowly begins to unfold as we get introduced to the other characters like school principal and his colleagues and all. It is like how one thing leads to the other and finally to the utter surprise of the readers.

However, somewhere in the middle his relationship seems to decline a bit when his senior colleagues have discourage him to work extra miles. However, we find him back together due to his love and care he hold for his students.

Through his own life experiences, the author attempts to actually tell a racial division and discrimination in London that have divided many people during that time. Although, racial discrimination is a notable aspect of the book, it also talks a lot about the London Politics, about the grim human acumen and a culture of how black people were portrayed and perceived openly by the society.

The ups and downs in his life, his interactions with his class and their transformation from boisterous teenagers to young responsible adults is what keeps a reader glued to the book till the end. 

This book closely reveals the relationship between a teacher and the students. It is this journey of Braithwaite that makes this book undying and lives with a reader long after the story ends.

In a nutshell, a committed teacher have the power to turn hatred into love, teenage disloyalty into self-respect and dislike for others into introspection.

Mr. Braithwaite a rejected technical graduate from many interviews have finally turned to become a school teacher. The rejection in all the interviews mainly came because of his skin color, as he was a Negro. An engineer by profession have finally settle to become a school teacher is all the twist of his FATE.

“It is easy to be called, but difficult to be one amongst many is a teaching job”.

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