Homework Help

What are the themes of the novel "To Sir With Love" by E.R. Braithwaite?Can you all...

user profile pic

zulianar | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2009 at 7:31 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What are the themes of the novel "To Sir With Love" by E.R. Braithwaite?

Can you all also include some critical thinking about the themes.

2 Answers | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 23, 2009 at 9:06 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

In the novel “To Sir, with Love,” by E. R. Braithwaite (Edward Ricardo) there are several themes which interweave within the story.  One of the main themes I prejudice in this post war England setting.  Braithwaite is a college graduate and an ex military man.  His desire is to work as an engineer, but there isn’t anyone that will hire him to supervise a job because he is black.  The idea of prejudice is not new to any black man alive but what strengthens this theme is that Braithwaite also is guilty of reverse prejudice toward some of his students.   Another important theme in this novel is the theme of human relations and the always complicated teacher-student relations.  As a teacher myself I can identify with the daily struggle of trying to meet the student’s needs, but at the same time, not crossing the line between the student- teacher relationships.  The setting is London in 1947 and the country is still recovering from the war.  Braithwaite’s 8 month autobiographical novel is very relevant and still makes the reader look within to examine where he/she stands on these themes. 

user profile pic

kash97 | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

From my point of view, the story basically wants to throw light at a student and teachers' relationship.It tells us how a teacher and a student try to confide in eachother.It shows the trials and tribulationsf a teacher to make his students more discipline.It becomes more difficult for the author because of the war phase  that the students r going through.This story also gets a blend of romance between Ms. Gillian and the author.It has also shown that at that time inter-caste marriage was not allowed as Ms. Gillan's parents do not allow her to marry the author.There are many themes in this book wwhich communicates with us through small instances.I would also like to mention that being offered a successful job in the field of engineering,the author chose to still remain a teacher.this tells us that once a teacher starts loving his or her job nothing can take him or her away from teaching and his student......

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes