We’ve had teachers we’ve absolutely adored and those whom we held the biggest grudges against. However, come Teacher’s Day and we leave no stone unturned when it comes to showing our teachers how grateful we are to have them around. In this article, we speak about the wide range of teachers we’ve had the chance of meeting through the world of literature.
In the books we’ve grown up reading, teachers have played varying roles. Most of us have heard of the iconic teacher-student relationship between Dronacharya and Arjuna, a relationship built on ideals like loyalty, pure affection, and love. While this was a relationship that was hardly realistic, it is one that we’ve grown to respect invariably over the years.
Contemporary literature showcases much more realistic relationships between teachers and their students. In Matilda, written by Roald Dahl, we see polar opposites in the nature of teachers in the form of Miss Honey and Principal Trunchbull. While Miss Honey is portrayed as the gentle, loving elementary school teacher who encourages creativity and is loved by her pupils, Trunchbull is seen as the evil principal who demands discipline and is cruel and ruthless towards the students.
Moving on to teenage fiction, the Harry Potter series showcases a diversity of teachers from Professor McGonagall, the witty, strict but caring teacher, to Dolores Umbridge, the evil representative of the ministry who ruins the students’ lives, to Severus Snape the rude teacher who actually has a heart of gold. In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie, despite his state of constant mental turbulence finds solace in finishing assignments and reading books given to him by his English teachers.
The teachers in books weren’t always in the human form either. Take Chiron, the great centaur teacher of the demigods in The Piercy Jackson series who taught the most important life lessons in the form of extremely dangerous quests. More unconventional storyline include the generous benefactor in Daddy Long Legs where Jerusha Abbott is expected to write letters to her sponsor whom she grows to love and adore.
The books we read are truly reflective of the changing roles of teachers in our lives. They no longer merely teach physics equations and dole out mountains of algebra for homework, but teach us the most important lessons of life, those about love, loyalty, caring, and friendship. Literature has taught us that our teachers are also our friends, mentors and support systems, and for that, we will always be thankful.