Ten Awesome Things You Can Learn about 'Theme Of Education' Studying David Herbert Lawrence’s "The Rainbow"


Teachers and Literature: Holofernes in Love's Labour's Lost and Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry wives of Windsor are two characters whose profession to teaching are mere caricature , and Shakespeare so presents them that they are more ridiculed than admired. Shakespeare's own experience at school said to have been anything but happy and his own attitude to his teachers perhaps finds expression in the portrayal of Holofernes and Evans, neither of whom evokes our sense of respect. Thewackhun and Squire are two tutors in Tom Jones, and they also give an indecent account of themselves. The former is cruel and selfish, hypocrisy being his central passion. He quotes from the scriptures to conceal his selfishness, the latter passes for a philosophy, while the only philosophy of life he follows is the gratification of sexual appetite by fair means or foul. Gradgrind is another teacher who, as Dickens paints him Hard Times, sets store by the utilitarian success life. For him, every student is more a number than living entity. He thinks that a child is nothing but fact, ought to be poured. So it is evident that the education system, along with the personage conducting the machinery, an object of criticism right from Shakespeare down to the present age, and a modern novelist like D.H. Lawrence who had occasion to serve as a teacher for a brief period of time shows his concern for methodology of education which, thinks he, calls for the rough modification, even radical reorientation. The Rainbow has, for its central theme, the nuances of human relationships, and as the development of Ursula’s personality is stressed, some light is thrown on her education. Lawrence observes the affairs of education in his times through Ursula who is involved in education both as a student and as a teacher Ursula at times appears to be the author’s alter ego, and the impression of education that Ursula gathers may reasonably be taken for Lawrence's own impression.

Being a Lady! The account of Ursula’s early education is scant in the novel. This much we gather that at twelve Ursula is put to the grammar School at Nottingham, along with her sister Gudrun. Her days at Grammar school give her a sense of release from "the belittling circumstances of life " marked by jealousy and meanness .Subsequently she goes to the High School where the gyres appear to be Ladies , and she also endeavours sincerely to grow into a Lady . It is here that she develops an ardent passion for Latin, Greek, French and Mathematics. She trembles with excitement when she writes the Greek alphabet for the first time

Economic Independence: After passing her Matriculation Examination, Ursula seeks to have economic independence. So she Looks for a yet, and finally she manages to get a job of teachership in a school in Kingston - on - Thames. But since the school is located in a place far away from her residence her father cancels her joining the post - there. Instead, he secures for her daughter another job in Brinslay street school, situated nearer home .

Personal Approach: Ursula goes to her job with a dream to be realized. She thinks that she will win the love of the little children by virtue of her 'personal approach' to them. She has noticed that teachers are generally hard and impersonal. There is no cordial relationship between the teacher and the taught. But she will give her great stores of spiritual wealth to her children. She believes that teaching should be conducted in a happy and friendly atmosphere. But in a short time she is disillusioned. The Headmaster, Mr Harby is a short, sturdy man fond of using power. She is asked to take charge of the standard Five consisting of 55 children. But her cordial approach is taken by the children in a wrong light. She is often jeered at by children who make the class a pandemonium. It embarrasses the Headmaster who begins to criticize Ursula rather indecently.

“Spare the Rod and Rear the Child ": So much so, when Ursula takes her class, the headmaster enters the room and punishes the pupils in her presence. The man has firm reliance on the motto: “Spare the rod and spoil the child" and Ursula is greatly opposed to let. Her motto is: “spare the rod and rear the child ". So, there follows a clash of principles involving the Headmaster and Ursula. One day it so happens that she gets very disgusted with a boy and beats him mercilessly. The result is that the noisy children return to pin - drop silence. Her gesture pleases the Headmaster who appreciates her hard - handed policy in high terms. But the event leaves a serious would on her heart. It marks her withdrawal from the ideal that she values most. Lawrence gives a close account of her remorse: “It seemed as if a great flame had gone through her and burnt her sensitive issue ". 

To Join College as a Student: When Ursula’s term at school is over, it is time for her to join college as a student. The Nottingham College to which she is attached stirs her imagination. The Gothic building appears to be a remote magic - Land. She looks at the professions with admiration, and they have the Look of black - gowned priests of knowledge '. She experiences a curious joy in listening to their lectures. She enjoys peaceful afternoon in the Botany Laboratory. The first year she passes with great devotion. 

Four More Idiotic Terms-Sham, Shocking, Stupid, and a Victim:   However, during the second year Ursula's disillusionment follows. The professors no longer appear to be priests initiated into the deep mysteries of life and knowledge. The Latin class appears to be a short of second hand curio shock. The college turns out to be a sham workshop. Lawrence arrests the attitude of Ursula to the college: “All the while it was sham store, a sham warehouse, with a single motive of material gain and no productivity". She thinks that the college is a 'temple converted to the most vulgar, petty commerce'. The professors discourage the exploratory spirit of the student. They only supply tailor - notes, insisting on passing the examination rather then earning knowledge. Degree - hunting becomes the sole objective of college - education. When Ursula expresses her disgust at the system of education to which she has been a victim, she practically stands for Lawrence who could never approve of the contemporary state of education in England.

 Ardhendu De  


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