Good-bye, Mr. Chips

by James Hilton

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What are Mr. Chips' views on women in "Good-bye, Mr. Chips"?

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Initially, they weren't very flattering, which probably explains why Chips was a bachelor until well into his forties. He's very much a creature of his time and doesn't really rate women all that highly in terms of their intellectual capacity. Chips has spent virtually his whole life, man and boy, in an exclusively male environment; women might as well come from another planet. So it's not really all that surprising that Chips is so scathing of them. He especially doesn't have much time for modern women, or "monstrous creatures" as he rather ungallantly calls them. They're too forward for his liking, too assertive and intellectually curious. Then as now certain types of men felt threatened by women with ideas.

Nevertheless, all that changes when Chips meets Katherine one summer during an excursion to the Lake District. Not only is she a very pretty young lady, she also displays precisely the kind of personality one would associate with one of those "monstrous creatures" that Chips so actively dislikes. Yet despite this, Chips is utterly smitten by Katherine's winning combination of good looks and brainpower. Thanks to her, his attitude towards women undergoes a profound transformation.

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