The name of this book is, of course, Goodbye, Mr. Chips. It was written by James Hilton in the 1930's, among his other books including, Nothing So Strange, Morning Journey, and Time and Time Again. There are 132 pages in Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and it was published by The Atlantic Monthly Press. Mr. Chips is a teacher at a large boy's school in England, Brookfield that is. I m not sure of his real name, however, the book does mention the he is not really Mr. Chips he just goes by that. The book starts with Mr. Chips as an old man who still runs his life according to the school bells.
He lives a Mrs. Wickett's house, where she takes care of him. Conveniently she lives right across the street from the school the Mr. Chips taught for many years. The book is basically a memory of his life. Like many other books he starts old, remembers young, and ends old. Chips was known for his sense of humor. He was never serious, but he was an excellent teacher of the Latin and Greek languages.
He was also admired greatly by his community. After Chips had been teaching for so long that his teaching methods were out of style the head of the school Ralston decided to demand Chips to resign. He told Chips that he was too set in his ways and because he didn t want to change simple things like pronunciations of a few words. Chips was a good teacher, and the board of the school knew it to. One it's members even told Chips to just to ignore Ralston, so that's just what he did. He was 65 years old when he finally decided to retire.
Chips was afraid he wasn t doing a good job, because he had been sick a lot the year before. So Chips went to Mrs. Wickett's house and began to enjoy his life as a retired man. He had frequent visitors from the school across the street and he spent lots of time looking over at the boys at break time. It's funny but it didn t take much for the school board to ask Mr. Chips back.
After a strike the schoo board asked Mr. Chips to come back and be the head of the school. He was honored but only agreed if it wasn t going to be official. He didn t want much to be expected of him. He was great at it.
He taught through the middle of the war. When bombs were dropped on Brookfield he went right on teaching and even had a child read in Latin about the bombs. It was yet another joke told by Mr. Chips. The children still loved him even though shortly after the war Chips decided to resign because he was sick again. He just didn t have the energy. So with a hand shake and no farewell he was back in Mrs. Wickett's care for the rest of his retired time.
Once again he was visited a lot and enjoyed tea with many a folk. Surprisingly just as he had promised he remember every face he saw. His health was good, and his sense of humor never faltered. He was also known for the stutter he had in his voice.
He always spoke with a ump h Day in and day out Chips stayed at Mrs. Wickett's visiting with old acquaintances and enjoying every minute of it. One day while Mrs. Wickett was out a young boy came buy to visit with Mr. Chips. When he went to the door he got a chill. The boy came in and talked with him for a while, but soon Chips told him he couldn t stay. Chips was glad to meet a new boy who respected and loved him but he was just too tired to let him stay. When the boy left he said, Goodbye, MR. Chips, in a very weird way.
Chips went in and sat in his chair after the boy had gone and woke up in bed much later. Not knowing how he got there he asked what happened, but his voice was very weak. The doctor told him that he had fainted and that he was welcome to sleep a little more if he wished. Chips thought it was a good idea, and before he knew it he was asleep again, only this time he was sleeping forever. There really was no antagonist unless you want to call Ralston that, or maybe it was time that was against him. Chips was the antagonist.
James Hilton tells this story himself there is no I in the story. The story takes place in England with a conflict of a man striving to give all he can, and does it well until he dies. I must say that the climax is when the school asks Mr. Chips back after he has retired. The book is weak because it is hard to follow. Not always clear to who is speaking and many Latin phrases aren t translated. The book is very realistic and it reminds me of my mother.
Living with a teacher this book is close to home, I ll never meet a teacher like my mom just like the children in the book will never meet another teacher like Chips. My favorite part of the book was Chip's ability to make a joke even when times were uncomfortable. He even made a joke as they listened to the bombs hit their town during the war. I would recommend this book to anyone who can read and understand it. It is even good for moms to read with their kids. I found the book interesting but not very good at specifying speakers, times, or names of places or real names for that matter.
All in all, this book is pretty good.