The Browning Version Summary in English by Terence Rattigan

The Browning Version Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Browning Version is written by Terence Rattigan.

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The Browning Version Summary in English by Terence Rattigan

About the writer Terence Rattigan

Writer Name Terence Rattigan
Born 10 June 1911, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died 30 November 1977, Hamilton, Bermuda
Movies The Browning Version, The Winslow Boy
Education Trinity College, University of Oxford, Harrow School
Awards Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play
Terence Rattigan - the browning version summary in english class 11
Terence Rattigan

The Browning Version Theme

This extract from a play highlights the attitude of a teenaged student towards his teacher. His comments are shocking because they are very close to the truth. He calls the teacher almost inhuman, though not a sadist. He is mortally afraid of his teacher because his promotion depends on his teacher’s goodwill. When another teacher encourages him, the student becomes more frank. It appears that the teacher was strict and seemed to hate people who like him. This reflects on the teacher’s quality.

The Browning Version About the Characters

Taplow: He is a sixteen year old boy and presents his views about his teacher Mr Crocker-Harris in a very frank and straightforward manner. He is respectful towards his teacher and likes him although being much afraid of him.

Mr Frank: He is a young science teacher and shows better understanding of student behaviour. He envies Mr Crocker-Harris and thus likes him being criticised by Taplow.

Mr Crocker-Harris: He is a strict disciplinarian. He follows rules, unlike other teachers. He has a strong hold over his students. He hates flattery and does not want people to like him.

Mrs Millie Crocker-Harris: She is the young wife of Mr Crocker-Harris. She is a thin woman in her late 30’s. She is very kind-hearted towards the student.

The Browning Version Summary in English

Mr Frank Converses with Taplow
The scene of the play is set in a school. The play opens with a sixteen year old boy, Taplow, who has been detained by his teacher to compensate for his one days’ absence. He is waiting for his teacher, Mr Crocker-Harris, who has not yet arrived. Another teacher, Mr Frank, finds Taplow waiting in the room and starts talking with him.

Taplow introduces himself and informs him that he is a student in the lower fifth grade. He feels that he would specialise next term if he got promoted. He also tells Mr Frank that Mr Crocker-Harris does not tell the students their results beforehand like the other teachers. Mr Frank is surprised. He admits that the headmaster announces the results on the last day but that’s no criterion. Taplow says that it is only Mr Crocker-Harris who abides by this rule of not telling the students about their results before they are officially announced.

Mr Frank asks Taplow whether he would pursue science if he gets a favourable result. Taplow is elated by the thought. Mr Frank laments sadly that he gets all the poor students. But Taplow says that he is extremely interested in science. Moreover, he would not have to read useless plays like ‘The Agamemnon.’ Mr Frank is a bit astonished at the thoughts of Taplow about ‘The Agamemnon’. Thinking that he has gone too far, Taplow corrects himself, saying that the plot is good, but the way it is taught is terrible.

Discussion About Mr Crocker-Harris
Mr Frank thinks that Taplow sounds a little bitter as he has been detained. Taplow informs him that he is there for extra work. Mr Frank is more than surprised to hear that Taplow is doing extra work on the last day before the end of the term.
Taplow informs him that he had missed a day of school the previous week due to illness and so Mr Crocker-Harris asked him to do extra work in place of that. Mr Frank tries to calm him by telling him that he would certainly get his result the next day for being a good boy. But Taplow feels the other way. He asserts that such rules do not work with Mr Crocker-Harris, as he is not like other teachers who appreciate students who do extra work.

Taplow’s Criticism of Mr Crocker-Harris
The day before, Taplow had asked Mr Crocker-Harris about his result. He tells Mr Frank about what happened. He starts copying Mr Crocker-Harris voice. Mr Crocker-Harris had told him that he had given Taplow what he deserved, no less and no more. Taplow is afraid that Mr Crocker-Harris would have rather marked him down for doing extra work.

According to Taplow, Mr Crocker-Harris is a different kind of teacher. He is too strict and ‘hardly human’.

Mr Frank pretends to be unhappy, but encourages Taplow to imitate his teacher once again. Mr Frank asks Taplow at what time he was supposed to meet Mr Crocker-Harris. Taplow informs him that he was called at six-thirty.

Mr Frank points out that Mr Crocker-Harris was already ten minutes late. He suggests that Taplow could go off and play golf. However, Taplow seems shocked at this suggestion and is scared that Mr Crocker-Harris might follow him home. Mr Frank tells Taplow that he envies Mr Crocker- Harris because all the students are scared of him.

Mr Crocker-Harris’ Personality
Taplow makes fun of Mr Crocker-Harris by saying that it would have been better if he were a sadist, as it would mean he had some feelings. But he is hard like a nut. He is heartless. He possesses no feelings at all.

Taplow feels that Mr Crocker-Harris is all dried up and hates that people like him. Taplow finds it funny that in spite of all the crankiness, he somehow likes Mr Crocker-Harris.

Taplow recalls an incident when Mr Crocker-Harris made one of his classic jokes. It was in Latin, so nobody laughed. Out of sheer courtesy, Taplow laughed at the joke. This proved to be a bad move by Taplow.

Mr Crocker-Harris complimented him by saying that Taplow’s Latin had improved greatly. Mr Crocker-Harris then asked Taplow to explain the joke to the whole class. Just then the door opens and Millie Crocker-Harris enters.

Millie Crocker-Harris Brings Relief to Taplow
Millie Crocker-Harris, Mr Crocker-Harris’ wife, is a thin woman in her late thirties. She is smartly dressed, unlike other schoolmaster’s wives. She comes in unnoticed. Taplow was still imitating Mr Crocker-Harris when Mr Frank noticed her and broke off suddenly. Taplow gets frantic and asks Mr Frank if Millie Crocker-Harris could have heard their conversation. Mr Frank thinks that she did. Taplow fears that if she tells anything to Mr Crocker-Harris, then he will surely get a bad result.

Millie Crocker-Harris asks Taplow if he was waiting for her husband. She further informs him that her husband is busy at the Bursar’s and might get late. She asks him to leave. Taplow is doubtful and says Mr Crocker-Harris had particularly asked him to come.

She advises him to go away for a quarter of an hour and then come back. Taplow is scared and asks what if Mr Crocker-Harris comes back. Millie Crocker-Harris gives him relief by saying that she’ll take the blame. She gives him a prescription and sends him to the chemist to get it filled. Convinced, Taplow accepts the proposal and leaves happily.

The Browning Version Chapter Highlights

  • Taplow is waiting for his teacher, Mr Crocker-Harris, who has not yet arrived. Another teacher, Mr Frank, finds him waiting and starts a conversation with him.
  • Taplow informs that he has come to do extra work for his teacher as he had missed a day of school the previous week and so Mr Crocker-Harris asked him to compensate for that.
  • Taplow also tells Mr Frank that he is waiting for his result. Mr Frank is surprised to know that Mr Crocker-Harris follows the rule of the headmaster declaring the results on the last day of the term.
  • According to Taplow, Mr Crocker-Harris is very strict and hardly human. He then imitates his teacher’s voice. After doing so, he apologises to Mr Frank for talking too much.
  • Mr Frank pretends to be unhappy but encourages Taplow to repeat the imitation.
  • Mr Frank points out that Mr Crocker-Harris is late and Taplow has a chance to go and play golf.
  • Taplow seems shocked at this suggestion and refuses to leave due to his fear of Mr Crocker-Harris.
  • Mr Frank envies Mr Crocker-Harris for the effect he has on his students.
  • Taplow tells Mr Frank that Mr Crocker-Harris is not a sadist. He is tough and possesses no feelings at all.
  • While Taplow narrates an incident of a classical joke cracked by Mr Crocker-Harris, Millie Crocker-Harris enters the room. She is the wife of Mr Crocker-Harris.
  • Millie Crocker-Harris suggests Taplow to go away for a quarter of an hour and come back later as Mr Crocker-Harris is at the Bursar’s and may take quite some time to get back.
  • Millie Crocker-Harris then assures him to take the blame on herself and hands Taplow a prescription, asking him to take it to a chemist and get it filled.
  • Taplow accepts the proposal and leaves.

The Browning Version Word Meanings

Word – Meaning
excerpt – a short extract from a piece of writing
gather – understand
remove – promotion
form – class
criterion – standard
slackers – weak students
muck – rubbish
Aeschylus – a Greek dramatist
Agamemnon – drama written by Aeschylus
kept in – detained
got carried away – got excited and lost control
cut – go away without permission
sadist – person who gets pleasure from inflicting pain or suffering on others
all shrivelled up – having no feelings
shrivel him up – reduce his feelings
general run – normal group
cape – a shawl or stole
infinitely – very much
relieved – pleased, feeling relief
frantically – in a hurried way
it made up – the medicine prepared

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