Do you know about violence or bullying, or just heard about before? If you have or want to hear a short story about this kind of story, you might lie down and read this. In the text ”Next Term, we’ll mash you” we hear about this boy Charles who get threatened by some guys at his new school, because he is the ”new member.” How bad can it actually be?
Next Term, we’ll Mash you is about a young boy named Charles who is sitting in a car with his parents. They are going to visit St Edward Preparatory school where Charles is going to start. When they come to the school the mother consider it as a lovely place. Charles and his parents are waiting for the headmaster, but meanwhile is the headmaster’s wife taking Charles out to see some of the boys and see what he might be letting himself in for. After seeing the boys at the school, he finds out how they are treating new members.
”Inside the car it was quiet. The boy sat on the back seat, a box of chocolates unopened, beside him and a comic folded” inside the car is there a quiet unhappy boy who is sitting in the back seat, while his parents drive him to his new school. The atmosphere is quiet because it is tens inside the car, nobody are talking especially not Charles. He has nothing to say, because this is not his own option for the new school. His parents have choosing the school for their own sake and not for his. Charles parents want him to go at that school because they have heard; there is nice people, and a friend of them Simon Wilcox has also gone there.
In the car is he sitting with an unopened chocolates box, which symbolizes his self-worth? A chocolates box shows his bad confidence, because it seems like the chocolate box is just something he comforts himself with, which can means that he might be fat. His bad confidence shows how weak he is, like in the text where the boys start to ask him questions and were looking at him with their strange faces, where he just stands there in the middle of them with shoulders humped and staring down at his feet’s. He is definitely not one of strongest in the circle; he can’t even protect and defend himself against them. It’s also seen in the last part where the boys threat him.
They say:” Next term, we’ll mash you.” Which means next time they see him they will mash him, because he is the new member in school. They say they always mash new boys, so they suddenly go away. The relationship between them will never be good because they don’t accept new members and Carles will end up with no friends, and be lonely all the time so he leaves the school. When he hears the boys talking to him, he notices them, but does not response them, he just walks away like it never happened.
Carles will end up like these boys, because his parents are so selfish that they only think at themselves and not what he wants. The mother asks him if he likes the school, but he know he can’t answer what he really feels. Its shows us a bad relationship between them, it looks like he can’t say something against them, because he know what he will get when he comes home. In the last two sentences we get an insight of an anticipation he gets from his parents. ”The child does not answer. He looks straight ahead of him, at the road coiling beneath of the car. His face is haggard with anticipation.” These two lines describe what his parents will do to him when they arrive home. It gives us a bad picture of his parents, because they indirectly shows what will wait for him when he comes home, which is a bad sign.
The St Edward Preparatory school is a very expensive school where almost rich students go there. The setting around them is very rich, because we see which class the main characters live in, and how they express themselves in the text. They come from the city Hampstead in London where most of them are very rich. – One thing is notice in the text where the mother uses a word when she talks to her son. ” look darling, there are some of the boys” darling is a word some rich people use when they talk to their closest. We get a glimpse of one of the rooms and how the terrace looks like. ”Beyond, dappled lawns, gently shifting trees, black and white cows grazing behind iron railings. Books, leather chairs, a table with magazines – country life, The Field, The Economist.” a very beautiful view of the school. The headmaster is fine in his clothes; he has clean shoes, well-scrubbed skin and also ”geniality untainted by the least condescension.”
And then his wife Margaret which seems very respected and has her nose up in the clouds. It shows in the last column in page 2, where the boys look at her with big eyes and eager faces and hold the door for her, and close it behind her until she’s gone. It shows how afraid they are of her and which atmosphere they exactly are in. Penelope Lively also uses violence imagery that makes the atmosphere more tens. ” His large hand rested for a moment on the child’s head, quite extinguishing the thin, dark hair. It was as though he had but to clench his fingers to crush the skull.” It shows us the headmaster’s inner violence, which makes him very powerful. Him and his wife are playing friendly, but deep inside they are not who they seems to be.
The title ”Next term, we’ll mash you.” describe obviously what the text is about, the boys in the school will mash him next time they see him. The main themes in the text are violence, weakness, power, loneliness, bad relationships and youth. The message is don’t be tempted too much of the good thing, it’s not always as good as it looks. Like the parents are completely in love with the new school, but what they don’t know is how bad is actually is. Sometimes it’s better to hear what others have to say, before we take our decisions.