Explain the significance of the boxing match in To Sir, With Love.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is the boxing match between Denham and Braithwaite in Chapter Eleven of this excellent novel that finally cements Braithwaite's leadership of the class of youths he tries to teach. This chapter narrates how Denham basically organises it so that he can fight against his teacher, Braithwaite, during their PE class, and how Braithwaite, angered by the violence and this attempt to fight him, punches Denham in the solar plexus and thus wins the fight.

Although this is clearly questionable and not recommended for teachers nowadays, the effect on Braithwaite's standing with his class is instantaneous and notable. After the moment of stunned silence following Braithwaite's victory, note how the class respond to his instructions:

To my amazement they obeyed without demur, while I hurried to Denham and helped him over to a low form against he wall; he was only winded and would be as right as rain. When he was comfortable I continued with the PE lesson, which went without a hitch; the boys were eager to do tehir best, and went through teh various movements without recourse to my prompting or direction; they now looked at me as if I had suddenly and satisfactorily grown up before their very eyes.

Note the change that has occurred in the way that the class look at their teacher. He has "grown up" and the narrator himself admits that this event "marked a turning point" in his relationship with the class. Even Denham starts addressing him as "Sir" without any form of mockery.

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crazynitin1998 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Denham insists they have a boxing class, beginning with him and Thackeray. Thackeray reluctantly agrees. Despite getting in some early blows, Denham is disabled when Thackeray knocks the wind out of him. Thackeray draws back his fist to hit Denham again but gains control of his emotions and declares the fight over. Afterward, Denham waits to speak with Thackeray in the stairwell. Although Denham admits he was trying to hurt Thackeray in order to convince him to resign from teaching, Denham is surprised that Thackeray did not capitalize on his advantage. For his part, Thackeray admits that he lost his temper, but that he understands the apparent unfairness of some of his decisions. Thackary then offers Denham a position as a boxing instructor to the younger students next term. Surprised that he would be regarded as a potential teacher, Denham nevertheless promises to consider it. Denham is clearly impressed, and expresses his admiration for Thackeray to his fellow students. By winning Denham over, Thackeray wins back the respect of the rest of the class, too. He is invited to the class dance, and when he shows up at the Seales funeral, is greeted by the entire class, who have come to pay their respects.

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adizero | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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i found out  pt session-Their gym teacher, Mr. Bell (Dervis Ward), insists that 'Fats' Buckley (Roger Shepherd) participate in vaulting, despite his classmates' objections. The vault collapses under Buckley's weight, and Potter (Christopher Chittell) threatens Bell with the vault's broken leg. Thackeray is called to defuse the situation. In class, he demands that Potter should apologise for the incident, pointing out that if a knife or gun was available, things could have been much worse. Potter only agrees when Denham points out that Bell will press criminal charges if he doesn't apologise, and that Potter will need Thackeray's recommendation for a job interview when school ends.

bxing match-In gym, Denham insists they have a boxing class, beginning with him and Thackeray. Thackeray reluctantly agrees. Despite getting in some early blows, Denham is disabled when Thackeray knocks the wind out of him. Thackeray draws back his fist to hit Denham again but gains control of his emotions and declares the fight over. Afterward, Denham waits to speak with Thackeray in the stairwell. Although Denham admits he was trying to hurt Thackeray in order to convince him to resign from teaching, Denham is surprised that Thackeray did not capitalize on his advantage. For his part, Thackeray admits that he lost his temper, but that he understands the apparent unfairness of some of his decisions. Thackary then offers Denham a position as a boxing instructor to the younger students next term. Surprised that he would be regarded as a potential teacher, Denham nevertheless promises to consider it. Denham is clearly impressed, and expresses his admiration for Thackeray to his fellow students. By winning Denham over, Thackeray wins back the respect of the rest of the class, too. He is invited to the class dance, and when he shows up at the Seales funeral, is greeted by the entire class, who have come to pay their respects.

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