Themes and Meanings

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 413

Like Macbeth’s soliloquy, this story is concerned with the failure of the passage of time to produce significant meaning. Mark Prosser, as a teacher, is supposed to help his students by guiding them in their search for meaning. Unfortunately, he lacks the self-knowledge, which ought to have come with maturity, that is necessary to do this. His actions are determined by his concern with how others, students or fellow teachers, perceive him. He identifies with Geoffrey Langer, the smart boy, but he behaves like Peter Forrester, the cutup, as he vies with Peter for the attention of Gloria. He picks on Peter through envy of the relationship between the two adolescents.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth Study Guide

Subscribe Now

He wants to retain his authority as a teacher on the one hand; on the other, he wants to be seen as a friend, as a member of the group who happens to have read a little more than the others. Instead of attempting to bring them up to his level, he consistently lowers himself to theirs. When he does attempt to say something significant about the play, he allows himself to become distracted by Gloria, becomes self-conscious about what he is saying, and consciously attempts to sound diffident, as if what he is saying is not important to him either. Naturally he loses the attention of the class. To retrieve their attention, he resorts to reprimanding them and once again attacks Peter, who has taken the opportunity to talk to Gloria. He cannot convincingly answer any of their questions because, regardless of his intellectual maturity, his emotional maturity is no...

(The entire section contains 413 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth study guide. You'll get access to all of the Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Analysis
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Previous

Summary

Next

Analysis

Explore Study Guides