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Goodbye, Mr. Chips

             Chips," by James Hilton, the theme is that a virtuous person, no matter what his position, can have a lasting influence on the people who come in contact with him. Mr. Chips, the main character, begins his career as a humble schoolteacher, but through his kindness, humor, and generosity he endears himself to nearly everyone. He would invite the new students at Brookfield to come to his parlor and take tea with him, in an effort to welcome them to the school and put them at ease. Because of his thoughtfulness, they never forgot him, and he continued to have a place in their lives. Also, Mr. Chips always showed kindness and humor when he was in contact with others. He was reasonable in his disciplinary measures, and was "kind without being soft." He was such a witty jokester that he would elicit "roars of laughter and tumultuous cheers" 1from the students, the other teachers, and even the headmasters of the school (74). Mr. Chips was also influential in many people's lives through his generosity, and though he was not always recognized officially, he was always remembered. He donated "a lot of moneyto people who called on him with a hard-luck story, to various School funds, and also to the Brookfield mission" (99). His passion was to bring students the values which he held dear, such as a "sense of proportion" (69) and "ideas of dignity and generosity," (87) which he knew would never be passed on to the next generation if he did not teach them. He attempted to form the students into good people, instead of "turning out a snob culture based on money and machines" (67). This influenced his students and the School very much; he became "popular" and was considered the stable influence who could "hold things together if there were any danger of them flying to bits" (82). When Cartwright, the Head of Brookfield, commented that "Brookfield will never forget his lovableness,"(114) he was right.

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