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The Browning Version | English Core | Class 11

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

Lesson Architecture
  • Story-At-A-Glance

  • NCERT Solution

  • Extra Questions


  • The Story is set in the background of a school, on the last day of a session.

  • Taplow is a student awaiting his result. Frank is a young science teacher. Mr. Crocker-Harris is Taplow's class teacher.

  • Taplow has been given extra work by his teacher for missing a day in the last week owing to illness.

  • Frank is friendly with students while Mr. Crocker-Harris is stern and disciplined and always goes by the rule.

  • Mr. Crocker-Harris never leaks out results, nor does he favour any student for doing extra work. He gives only what the student deserves.

  • Frank suggests that Taplow should not wait for Mr. Harris, but go home.

  • Taplow discloses that no student dared to disobey Mr. Harris. Though he has no sadistic streak in him unlike some other teachers , yet he is respected and obeyed by the students.

  • Frank envies the elderly teacher's command over the students.

  • Mr. Crocker Harris does not care about people liking him. He does not display his feelings.

  • Despite everything, Taplow likes the teacher.

  • Millie Crocker-Harris appears on the scene and informs that her husband has gone on work and would be late.

  • She suggests that Taplow should go out and play, but the boy is scared of his teacher.

  • She volunteers to take the blame on herself and sends him to a chemist so that he could he could at least go out and relax for a while.

NCERT Solution:

Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context.

remove: result of promotion to a higher class in a British school.

Slackers: idlers.

muck: something unpleasant or worthless.

Kept in : detained after class as punishment.

got carried away: moved to unreasoning enthusiasm.

Cut: stay away from

Sadist: One who takes pleasure in other's pain.

Shriveled up: Shrunk or wrinkled.

Understanding the Text:
  1. Comment on the attitude shown by Taplow towards Crocker-Harris.


Taplow is very scared of Crocker Harris as he is very strict and disciplinarian. Taplow does not give in to any temptation of leaving the place even when the young science teacher Frank suggests so. Mr. Crocker-harris always abides by the rule and never shows undue favour to anyone for working extra hours.

Taplow respects Crocker Harris and laughs at his teacher's joke out of politeness. He defends his teacher in front of Frank. He even goes on to say that Mr. Crocker-Harris does not take pleasure in torturing the boys unlike some other teachers of his school. Therefore, Taplow's attitude towards Crocker Harris is respectful and he obedient.

2. Does Frank seem to encourage Taplow's comments on Crocker-Harris?

Ans: Frank encourages Taplow to make fun of his elderly teacher. Frank is obviously envious of the obedience that Mr. Crocker Harris commands from his students. The following instances show that Frank makes fun of Crocker Harris.

  • Frank even insinuates Taplow to run away because Crocker Harris is already a little late.

  • When Taplow imitates Mr. Crocker Harris, Frank craftily asks him to repeat so that they could make fun at the expense of the teacher.

  • When Taplow relates to Frank about the joke in class, Frank takes the opportunity of laughing at Crocker Harris.

Therefore, it is obvious that Frank enjoys enjoys the fact that Mr. Crocker Harris is sometimes ridiculed by his his own pupil.

3. What do you gather about Crocker-Harris from the play?

Ans: From the account of Taplow we come to know that Crocker Harris is a strict disciplinarian and always adheres to compliance of rules.

  • He is a hard task master and does not excuse any laziness from students' end.

  • The students are well aware that he is not biased in his approach towards students. Students are not given any inflated marks by Crocker Harris and they score what they deserve.

  • Although students dislike his sternness, yet they respect him because he is not a sadist like some others in school.

  • Taplow sums up Mr Crocker Harris in his own words, 'The funny thing is that in spite of everything, I do rather like him. I can't help it.'

Extra Questions

1. Who is Crocker Harris / What makes him different from other teachers?

Ans: Mr. Crocker-Harris is a senior teacher in the school and teaches literature in lower fifth. He is different from other teachers because he always sticks to rules, does not like flattery and is not biased towards any student. He does not belong to the category of a sadist and is therefore respected by the students.

2. Do you think frank encourages Taplow to make fun of Mr. Crocker Harris?

Ans: Frank certainly encourages Taplow to make fun of Mr. Crocker Harris. When Taplow imitates his teacher, Frank asks him to repeat it. When Taplow relates the incident of Mr. Crocker Harris cutting a poor joke in class, Frank encourages Taplow's mimicry.

3. Why do you think that Frank envies Mr. Crocker Harris?

Ans: Frank envies Mr. Crocker Harris because the latter commands respect and authority from his students. He is a strict disciplinarian and the students cannot dare remain absent from his class.

4. Why was Taplow given extra work on the last day of school?

Ans: Even on the last day, Taplow was given extra work by Mr. Crocker-Harris. It was because he had missed a day the previous week due to illness. Mr. Crocker Harris, being a tough task master, never excused the boys on any ground.

5. Who is Millie ? What does she ask Taplow to do?

Ans: Millie is the wife if Mr. Crocker Harris. When she finds Taplow being made to wait by her husband, she feels bad and tells him to go and play for a while. When he shows reluctance, she sends him to a chemist to get some medicines for his teacher so that he could take a break on this pretext.

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