1. Why does Taplow feel that Mr Harris is “hardly human”?
Taplow had missed a day the previous week when he was ill. So, he was asked to do extra work in order to compensate for it. But Taplow feels that taking extra work would make no difference as Mr.Harris had already told him that he had got what he deserved. Taplow doubts that Mr Harris might have given him lesser marks to make him do the extra work.
2. What does Frank suggest to Taplow about waiting for Mr Harris? What was Taplow’s reaction?
When Frank figured out that Mr Crocker-Harris is already ten minutes late than the expected time, he suggested Taplow call it off and go and play golf. But Taplow expressed his fear and apprehension by saying that nobody ever dared to do such a thing with Mr Harris. He was scared of the consequence.
3. How did Taplow express his liking for Mr Harris?
Although Taplow considers Mr Crocker Harris to be “hardly human”, deep down, he actually likes him. He recalls an episode where Mr Harris made one of his classical jokes and none of the students laughed at it because no one understood it. Taplow knew that it was meant to be funny and laughed out of ordinary politeness.
4. Who was Millie Crocker-Harris? What was she like? Why does she ask Taplow to leave?
Millie Crocker-Harris was Mr Crocker’s wife. She was a thin woman in her late-thirties. She was more smartly dressed than ordinary schoolmasters ’wives.
She suggested Taplow leave as her husband was at the Bursar’s and she knew that he would be there quite a time. She also assured Taplow that if Mr Crocker-Harris arrived before him then she would take the blame.
5. Why does Taplow want to opt for science?
Taplow desires to opt for science as he is genuinely interested in the subject. He feels that science is definitely more interesting than studying Classics like “The Agamemnon”. He detested that way it was being taught to them.
6. Why does Taplow feel that Mr Harris is worse than a sadist?
Taplow feels that Mr Crocker-Harris is all dried up inside like a nut and has no emotions. If he were a sadist, he would still seem capable of possessing some emotions. He hates people liking him and sometimes when he sees it, he becomes more uncomfortable.
Solved Long Question and Answer for “The Browning Version”
1. Comment on the attitude shown by Taplow towards Mr Crocker-Harris.
Taplow expresses very bitter feelings for Mr Crocker-Harris. He dislikes the fact that none other than Mr Harris abides by the school rule that results are to be announced only by the headmaster on the last day of the term. He is not interested in the Classics like Agamemnon that is taught by Mr Harris. He is interested in science and does not seem to like the way the Classical Literature is taught in the class by Mr Harris who would punish them for getting the Greek words wrong.
Taplow had missed a day the previous week for which he was asked to do extra work. It was the last day of school and he wished to be outdoors but Mr Harris made it compulsory for him to take the extra work. However, Taplow felt that no amount of extra work would change his fate as MR. Crocker-Harris had already told him that he had given him exactly what he deserved. Taplow further thought that he might have given him low marks on purpose to make him work harder. He considers Mr Harris to be “hardly human”. Taplow mocks his master behind his back but in reality, he is very scared of him. He is shocked at the mere idea of leaving after Mr Harris has not shown up. He considers Mr Crocker-Harris as someone who is even worse than a sadist as to be a sadist, one must exhibit some emotions. According to Taplow, Mr Harris was incapable of possessing any feelings. He figured that Mr Harris hates people liking him.
However, in spite of all these, Taplow seems to like Mr Harris. To support this, he recalls an episode and narrates it to Frank where Mr Harris made one of his classical jokes and none of the students laughed at it because no one understood it. Taplow knew that it was meant to be funny and laughed to please Mr Harris.
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