The History Boys

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21 March 2016

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What elements of Bennetts own educational experiences has he used in “the History Boys”? Bennett says that he was made fun of at school for coming to school in a suit on the day of his exams. He says he did this because he thought the exam was an occasion and he must rise to it. This show us how he felt towards his exams and probably shows how some of the boys in his book would have felt like when taking their exams. This shows how important he thinks exams are and this theme will probably reflect in the book. Bennett then goes to talk about taking his finals at oxford, this is where the boys in the book are aiming for and he has already been there and knows what it’s like to pass so he will probably talk about the emotions that he felt when he passed. Bennett talks about his Head teacher and describes him as a “snob” and as we already know that the Head teacher in the book is a snob. Bennett being from a working class family and the boys in the books being from a working class family then he will probably share his experience of feeling like a second class citizen compared to the boys from Eton or the other private schools down south.

Bennett says that the “History Boys” has nothing to do with his “contemporaries” but this is hard to believe as the subject of the book is so close to his life. He could be telling the truth or trying to hide the embarrassment of whatever happens in the book. Bennett goes to chapel and says in the play that Scripps also goes to chapel this could be show the subtle differences between the boys in the play. He also talks about his teacher getting upset with his class which he also uses in the book. Bennett being a homosexual is also reflected in one of the boys in the book so Bennett’s sexuality is also in the book so it’s like the boys in the book all make up Bennett rather than just one. Bennett felt like he wasted his time at university although I doubt we will see the characters in the book reach university because the book is about the seventh term but some of the boys may end up feeling like this at the end of their school careers. Bennett feels like a fraud for just retaining information onto a page, he may reflect this feeling onto one of the boys in the book. Bennett states that reading a book about the working class going to university often tires them out and it reflects poorly in their efforts at university and he portrays these feelings into Posner.

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The History Boys. (21 March 2016). Retrieved from

"The History Boys" StudyScroll, 21 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). The History Boys [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29 September, 2023]

"The History Boys" StudyScroll, Mar 21, 2016. Accessed Sep 29, 2023.

"The History Boys" StudyScroll, Mar 21, 2016.

"The History Boys" StudyScroll, 21-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The History Boys. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

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