Analysis Of Next Term, We Ll Mash You By Penelope Lively

1177 Words 5 Pages
“Parenting gone wrong” is a phrase used to describe a child’s bad behaviour when he or she does something unexpected. Many call this phrase harsh because one can never control children. If children behave in a certain way later on in life it can’t be blamed on their upbringing, but does it really have nothing to do with bad parenting when a child feels abandoned and feels that they have been forced to do something they never wanted to? The story “Next term, we’ll mash you”, which is written by Penelope Lively, focuses on how the bond between parents and children can affect a child’s life.
The story is about a young boy whose parents take him to a boarding school where he is threatened by one of the boys. The story takes place in a wealthy
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It’s the sort of contact that would do no harm at all.” (p. 1 l. 40). The father’s first priority is clearly his professional career and not his child’s education. And it is not only the father but even the mother thinks about status. She reflects more on the opportunities that the school provides social gatherings: “If he comes here there’ll be Speech Days and that kind of thing…” (p. 1 l. 29) and “Sally Wilcox says she knows all sorts of people.” The mother is clearly concerned about how this school can make her more popular. They are both forgetting the main reason to why they are at the school. Even the headmaster’s wife says that they have been forgetting all about him which just shows how unimportant he is and how all of this is about the …show more content…
Not only is the room in bad conditions but the child is threatened by one of the boys: “Next term we’ll mash you. We always mash new boys.” (p. 2 l. 48). This is the truth of the school: An unpleasant place to be where violence is adapted by the students. It is obvious that the child doesn’t want to go there as he stands in the middle of the room looking out the window at the “inaccessible world” which probably means that he wants to be somewhere else than this school and do something else.
At the end of the story the parents ask the child on his thoughts of the school but since they have already decided it is more a formality than anything else. More so the child doesn’t tell them about the threat. Perhaps he knows that they might not

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