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How would one go about describing the main characters in To Sir, With Love?

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anoushkag | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 2, 2011 at 6:46 PM via web

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How would one go about describing the main characters in To Sir, With Love?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 2, 2011 at 7:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Braithwaite is the central character of the narrative.  His character can be seen as one striving to find meaning and not afraid to use his freedom in order to do so.  Braithwaite is defined by his fluid understanding of the world, and a resistance to settling in to a condition that he knows is not satisfying.  His courage to embrace freedom as a form of innovation is not only what helps him find happiness, but is what makes him an effective teacher.  Mr. Florian is the representation of the evolved teacher, whos philosophy of understanding children in a non- punitive setting is one that not only defines him as a headmaster but represents an ideal that most teachers cannot reach.  His position and beliefs are a jarring shock to Braithwaite's first experience with his students, who prove to him the need to formulate his own philosophy before embracing others'.  Denham is a very strong force amongst the students.  His leadership and unwillingness to be persuaded through superficiality is what defines him.  Braithwaite learns quickly that he has to find a way to bring Denham into his corner or simply move past him, as he will not be successful in challenging him.  Pamela Dare is struggling to find meaning in her world.  She struggles with finding attention from her mother and from Mr. Braithwaite, and while she is emotional about this need to be validated, she understands what true commitment is and true understanding of people through her revelations brought about by Braithwaite's teaching.

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