How far do you agree with this statement about Mr. Florian in To Sir, With Love?
"Mr. Florian's wisdom quite dwarfs larger, more imposing men".
I need to know what I have to write when using Mr. Florian in my answer and what parts of the novel I will need to use.
Taken in the context in which this quote appears in the text, I would totally agree with this statement. Mr. Braithwaite, frustrated and angry because his class will not take flowers to their classmate Seale's home because Seales is black, has gone to express his dismay to Mr. Florian. Mr. Braithwaite is upset because he feels that despite all that he has tried to teach his students about relationships and tolerance, they have learned nothing. Mr. Florian counsels Mr. Braithwaite,
"You must be patient...you've done a great deal with them. Be patient. Maybe next year, the year after - who knows? Go back to them and show them some of the same tolerance and patient good will you hope to get from them".
Mr. Braithwaite is humbled by Mr. Florian's words. He recognizes the wisdom in the Headmaster's advice to be patient. Mr. Florian is astute enough to recognize that Mr. Braithwaite's inability to accept the children's incapacity to overcome the deeply ingrained prejudices with which they have been raised is evidence of the same attitude of intolerance against which he preaches, and he kindly but firmly guides the younger man into acknowledging this. In amazement, Mr. Braithwaite reflects,
"This little man always seem(s) to grow larger as he (speaks); as if to compensate for his twisted frame he (has) been given a saintliness; a deep patient wisdom which quite dwarf(s) bigger, more imposing men".
I don't think, however, that I would agree with the statement in every instance as it concerns Mr. Florian. Although he is unfailingly sincere and well-meaning, Mr. Florian shows in some instances that his judgment is seriously flawed. This is especially evident in the incident involving his part in dealing with the newspaper article written about Greenslade's School. Mr. Florian does not consider that his decision to allow coverage of the institution might be ill-advised until it is too late, and he also condescendingly initiates the idea of spotlighting the presence of Mr. Braithwaite as a black teacher on the staff as an illustration of the school's atmosphere of tolerance (Chapter 20).