UNESCO instituted World Teacher's Day on October 5. However, why wait for Teachers' Day to come around? We don't need a special occasion to express our affection towards a teacher. So did Mary Loudon by writing “Doreen Pope”, a hymn to an inspirational teacher. In this descriptive essay she pays tribute to the greatness of her teacher Doreen Pope. Someone once said, "Teachers don't impact for a year, but for a lifetime. " A teacher can make a lasting impression on our mind, provides encouragement, inspiration and values, guiding us through the journey of life.
The central theme of the story is education, though much attention is paid to one particular teacher Doreen Pope. The author gives us a vivid picture of the whole system of school education and stresses the role of teacher in it. A number of problems are raised in the text: learning process, relation between pupils, their attitudes to the teachers, difficulties in transition from childhood to adolescence, values and ideas to be filtered into everyone’s life. The text is well-structured. And each element of the text plays its own irreplaceable role in the developing of the theme.
The title serves as a means of focusing the reader’s attention on a particular person Doreen Pope. After casting a glance on the title “Doreen Pope” a reader expects her to be a central character, or even a heroine, that turns out to be true. Straight from the second statement Mary Loudon makes it clear that Doreen Pope is her hero and we realize that she is going to share with us her admiration and respect to this woman. The main part of the text is dedicated entirely to the central idea of the text: Pope’s personality and her contribution in children’s education and character formation.
The conclusion the greatness of Doreen Pope is made even more significant by accentuating the values she install in her pupils. The story is a first-person narrative, so we see Doreen Pope through the perception of the author. That means a description of Pope’s personality is limited to what the author knows about her. Unfortunately, we cannot enter into the mind of the character and find out what she feels and thinks. But there is also a positive moment in it- the story told by a first-person is rather confiding, the reader is treated trustfully as one to whom the narrator confines his personal impressions and views.
In order to prove the greatness of Doreen Pope the author makes use of description. This description advances reader's understanding of the character. Using a number of epithets Mary Loudon provides the character’s visualization, draws the picture of Pope in our minds: she was strong, wholesome woman, tall, well-built, cheerful, full of boundless energy, wearing functional and unobtrusive clothes and sensible shoes and etc. Enumeration in the description, such as “patient, kind, egalitarian”, produce an effect of countless virtues Doreen Pope possesses.
Very specific antithesis can be mentioned: Doreen Pope is contrasted to her anti-social dog Sheena: “such an affectionate woman could live with such an aloof dog”. Later on the allusion is made to the Madonna and Child to strengthen the fact that they were inseparable, an item. Doreen Pope is a fully-realized character due to description of the way she acts and treats others. She was appreciative of talent and enthusiasm, and in order to help shy and obstreperous children reveal themselves spent the most time with them. She was an enormous success with children and had a genuine affinity with them”. The most significant points are stressed with the help of examples. The author states that “She had an unpretentious disregard for the formal” and then describes her appreciation of class frieze of the Great Fire. Doreen Pope is well-written character, but somewhat one-dimensional: helpful, caring and giving. She doesn’t display any contradicting qualities. The language of the story is mainly literary, although many colloquial elements are present.
Generally, it’s a pleasure to enjoy such an expressive language. Countless epithets, emotionally colored words as well as some similes, allusions, antithesis attach deep and emotional essence to this text. Colloquial expressions, such as “never lost her cool”, “dropped my t’s and h’s”, “boomed with laughter” and others make the text more informal and close to readers. Summing up, I would say that the author’s intention to share his admiration and respect to her outstanding teacher Doreen Pope and to show an image of an ideal teacher was fulfilled.
Moreover, Mary Loudon succeeds in promoting simple, timeless and good values, that Doreen Pope was confident in: “Don’t fret about what others think of you. Just work hard, remember that it’s all right to be yourself and try to laugh at bad bits”. The author looks back with appreciation and gratitude to the brilliant teacher who touched her human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.