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Copy of Mrs Lintott (The History Boys)
Transcript of Copy of Mrs Lintott (The History Boys)
by Sophie Coates
and Theo Greenhill
Themes and Plot
Relation to Themes
Extras on Page 41
Perceptions by Characters
Plot event involvement
Relationship with Characters
Attitude to Education
Use of Language
The character of Mrs Lintott is shown as very positive to education, she is a passionate character especially in reference to her key subject of history. This is seen on page 84 where she debates feminist views of history within a mock interview situation. This scene emphasises and demonstrates her passion for consideration and education.
Mrs Lintott uses a lot of wit and sarcasm in her language to represent her sense of humour and light personality. This contrasts her teaching which is very serious and in-depth.
As mentioned previously Mrs Lintott is a key role within the play acting as a an internal narrator of key themes. Her observations enhance areas of the play and hone in on subtle differences between characters. This gives the impression that she is very caring (especially for Hector) and is a very wise character herself.
Her relationship with Hector is particularly close as shown by her reaction to the 'bike event', later revealing to Irwin that 'He's a fool' and almost appearing dismayed when the Headmaster initially reveals that Hector handled the boys' balls as she was not aware.
Audience perceptions are reflected in the views of other characters. The observations shown by Lintott are shared due to a sense of wisdom and familiarity with the other characters, therefore emphasising her caring, feminine role within the play and also demonstrating how others may see her.
Lintott is involved in various aspects of plots within the play for example, Irwin's relationship with Dakin and Posner are both discussed, as well as Hector's inappropriate behaviour. Though she does not directly participate in events within the play she appears to feel involved in the event through conversation and interaction.
''A nickname is an achievement..'' shows how much she values the opinions of the boys and feels a bond with them.
Mrs Lintott does not have a severe change within the play as she is a more secondary role, acting as more of an observer than protagonist, unlike Irwin or Hector.
History - Though a history teacher her relation to the theme of history is limited. She has a keen interest and is seen as a good teacher as she says 'They're all clever. I saw to that.' However the main theme of history pivots around the characters and teaching styles of Irwin and Hector; often with controversial outcomes. This may also be seen to be because of the roles of females within teaching in the 1980's. As Mrs Lintott views history as a record of male failure and incompetence it may indicate that it is essential for the male characters in the novel to resolve these issues.
Lintott's participation in the mock interview situation, beginning on page 82, shows her encouragement of higher education.
Mrs Lintott is also the most encouraging character of Rudge showing that she values, not only Rudge, but the influence of university, and feels that higher education can help anyone (not just the very gifted). - Page 33
Page 10 - ''Our fearless leader'' uses sarcasm to depict her dislike for the Headmaster.
Page 9 - ''Other things, too, of course, but it's the pizza that stands out.'' - humour and innuendo which she uses throughout the play.
Lintott is also seen to be very observant as she acts as an internal narrator of areas of the play, this emphasises pieces of the play to the audience that may have been missed previously (especially in reference to Hector).
Page 22 - ''You always think they're sad''
Page 23 - ''They're all clever. I saw to that.'' - values her teaching.
Page 22 - ''Cunt-struck'' - common use of taboo lexis reflects her casual nature and close observations.
Her use of taboo lexis and sarcasm demonstrates to the audience that she has a relaxed approach and is very blunt. However in contrast with the Headmaster and Irwin these characteristics are seen very positively by the audience.
She is seen as a very honest character, as shown on Page 84, with her feminist revelations and her view on history as whole.
Page 92 - ''He's a fool'' - caring and honest in her views on Hector.
Mrs Lintott's relationship with the Headmaster is also key as she feels he is a reflection of the negative side of education in the 80's. This is one of the key themes of the book and she shows her opinion mainly through sarcasm e.g. Page 10 - ''Our fearless leader''.
Lintott also has the closest relationship with Rudge and believes that he too has something to offer as shown in the quote 'They're
Her bond with the school boys is seen by her nickname, 'Totty' which she announces on Page 41. Though dismissive in saying ''Some irony there, one feels'', there is obviously a mutual fondness and she is clearly valued.
However the feminist revelations on Page 84 may indicate that she feels she is only perceived and measured by her gender? Nickname - 'Totty' reiterates this. Is this on-going or the nature of the time? (is it simply her nature to value herself and others in this way? e.g. constant judgement and mention of men's approval throughout the play.)
''-its armorial sense of a badge, a blazon'' - semantic field of education, showing that maybe her values are measured within education as it is the majority of her life? how knowledgeable of the world is she?
''-but at least you get their problems. I seldom do.'' - disappointed at their open relationship with Irwin. Demonstrates that although she is honest and well liked she is not trusted with personal problems. Is this due to gender and time period?
It is, however, shown that her judgement of Rudge is changed towards the end of the play, acting surprised at the news that he rejected Christchurch.
Her perceptions of Hector and Irwin are altered throughout the play due to main events that occur (her overall views on characters are summarised in her closing speech)
Her view of the education system may have also altered due to plots within the play and the Headmasters role within the school - has she lost faith in education? Does she doubt education as high achievers have highlighted downfalls?
Poetry and Literature - Lintott's main connection to text is through Hector and therefore has a loose relationship with literature as a theme.
Subjunctive - The subjunctive is a key theme for most characters within History Boys and therefore has an impact on Lintott (more reactionary). Dakin, Hector and Irwin are all related to the subjunctive however, as is seen when Mrs Lintott initially realises about Hector's behaviour, she also recognises the chance involved in both history and general life events.
Hope and Failure - She does however have a large role with the theme Hope and Failure as she and Hector both show that with education does not come success. This is emulated with the boys' ultimate careers and experiences. This is especially apparent with the relationships of characters within the play including Mrs Lintott who clearly lacks romance and has a negative portrayal of men.
She appears involved as she is open about her own perceptions rather than being particularly crucial to the event itself. She participates in many relevant conversations based on major plot events e.g. Page 41 - discussion about sexuality with Irwin and his feelings for Dakin.