Senin, 11 April 2011


pada 18.11

Analysis of a comic drama entitled “The Lesson” by Eugene Ionesco

Structural Elements
1. Character and Characterization
There are three characters presented in “The Lesson” who can be classified in major character and minor character.
a. Major Character
Major character is the most important character in the story. In this novel, the major character is the professor. He is a man about 50-60 years old. He teaches the lesson for his pupils.

Maid : Good morning, miss.
Pupil : Good morning, madam. Is the professor at home?
Maid : Have you come for the lesson?
Pupil : Yes, I have. (p: 45)

He has lived in the town for thirty years. He does not believe that his pupil could find his house.

Professor : For thirty years I’ve lived in this town. You’ve not been here for long? How do you find it? (p: 45)

In appearance, he is a little old man with a little white beard. He wears pince-nez, a black skull cap, a long black schoolmaster’s coat, trousers and shoes of black, detachable white collar, a black tie. (p: 46)
Mentally, the professor is initially timid, excessively polite. During his course with the pupil, he becomes aggressively dominant in the face of the pupil’s failure. His voice also changes, from thin and reedy to stronger and stronger.
Morally, he is a nice teacher. The professor puts himself down as the pupil’s humble servant. He helps the pupils sincerely.

Pupil : Yes, indeed, Professor. I am at your disposal.
Professor : At my disposal? Oh, miss, it is I who am at your disposal. I am only your humble servant. (p: 50)

He is very enthusiasm in teaching his pupil. He never complains about his matter. He wants to teach the pupil for pursuing her doctorate in total knowledge. He shows his professional fervently. The professor gives the pupil praises to make her glad.

Professor : How much are one and one?
Pupil : One and one make two.
Professor : Oh, but that’s very good. You appear to me to be well along in your studies. You should easily achieve the total doctorate, miss.
Pupil : I’m so glad. Especially to have someone like you tell me this.
(p: 51-52)

He also has a bad attitude. In his enthusiasm, he does not give attention to the pupil when she is complaining his toothache. The professor is angry and snaps at to the pupil. Then he still continues their study more considerable.

Pupil : Oh, yes? … Oh, Professor, I’ve got a toothache.
Professor : Don’t interrupt! Don’t make me lose my temper! I can’t answer for what I’ll do……
Pupil : Oh, no more, no more. My teeth…
Professor : Ache! Ache! Ache! … I’m going to pull them out, I will! One more example. The word “capital”—it takes on, according to the language one speaks, a different meaning. ….. (p: 69-70)

Another case when the professor does not give attention to the maid’s warning. He does not concern about it.

Maid : Precisely, Professor. You will do better not to start the young lady on arithmetic. Arithmetic is tiring, exhausting.
Professor : Not at my age. And anyhow, what business is it of yours? This is my concern. And I know what I’m doing. This is not your department.
Maid : Very well, Professor. But you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Professor : Marie, I can get along without your advice. (p: 51)

The most fatal accident is when the professor can not have a command over. He is angry to the pupil. Finally, he kills his pupil with his own hand.

Professor : Pay attention…. Don’t break my window…. the knife kills…
Pupil : Yes, yes… the knife kills?
Professor : Aaah! That’ll teach you! (p: 75)

His maid said that the professor is a liar. He does not want to confess his fault. Professor does not assure that he has become a murderer.

Professor : It wasn’t my fault! She didn’t want to learn! She was disobedient! She was a bad pupil! She didn’t want to learn!
Maid : Liar! (p: 76)

b. Minor Character
There are two characters as the minor support the professor as the major character.
1) The Pupil
She is a young lady who wants to get the education from her teacher. She is 18 years old. She carries a student’s satchel under her arm. She seems to be a well-brought-up girl, polite, but lively, gay, dynamic, a fresh smile is always on her lips. She is not good in mathematic. She meets the difficulty when learn that subject. The pupil will have the first doctor’s oral, so she comes to the professor. She wants to get more knowledge. She is an obedient girl. She never argues to the professor. But her words make the professor angry and cannot hold him, and then she is murdered by her own teacher.

2) The Maid
The maid, Marie, is a woman about 45-50 years old. She wears a peasant woman’s cap and has a red-faced. She is friendly and loyal housemaid. She warns the professor for the kindness, but the professor does not care her. She still accompanies the professor when he did bad cases. She always gives advice to the professor.

2. Setting
There are two kinds of setting, setting of place and time. The explanations are as follows:
a. Setting of time
The setting of time “The Lesson” is in World War II. The humanity violence in World War II has made people depression, frustration, skeptical, apathetic, and also hopeless. There are many intellectual groups feel disillusion, pessimistic, and do not believe to the concept. They think that he era is really absurd, meaningless. This story also tells about the disagreement about the violence by Nazi. Ionesco is an anti-Nazi.

Maid : [She takes out an armband with an insignia, perhaps the Nazi swastika]
Wait, if you’re afraid, wear this, then you won’t have anything more to be afraid of.
[She puts the armband around his arm]
…. That’s good politics. (p: 77-78)
The story is begun when the pupil comes to the professor’s house for the lesson in the morning.
Maid : Good morning, miss.
Pupil : Good morning, madam. Is the Professor at home?
Maid : Have you come for the lesson?
Pupil : Yes, I have.

b. Setting of place
The setting of place “The Lesson” is at an apartment. The professor lives at there with his loyal maid, Marie. It is an office of the old professor, which also serves as a dining room. At that place, the professor teaches the lesson to the pupil.

3. Plot
There are four parts of plot: exposition, complication, climax, and resolution. The explanations are as follows:
a. Exposition
The exposition in “The Lesson” begins the introduction of major and minor characters, setting of place and time in detail description.
b. Complication
There is a conflict in this story. The conflict is about the pupil wants to get her doctorate so she come to the professor. She wants to get more knowledge. The professor is very enthusiasm for the lesson. He teaches fervently, but does not care about the pupil’s toothache. The pupil does not get the treatment, so she groans painfully.
c. Climax
The climax arises when the professor can not be calm anymore. He is angry to the pupil. He still continues the study without caring the pupil’s groan. The professor gets the knife to show a real practice to the pupil. The knife kills the young pupil immediately.
d. Resolution
The resolution is when the maid, Marie, comes to the office. The professor does not believe that he has killed his pupil. He considers that the pupil does not want to go home, because he looks at the pupil just keeps on silence. The maid tries to make the professor aware with the situation. She said that will be alright if the professor wear the armband of Nazi swastika. Surprisingly, the professor is obedient to his maid. They take the body of the young pupil move to hide her. And then, the bad event will go on and on.

4. Theme
The theme of “The Lesson” is “Violence in Education”. In the story, the professor wants to say that a teacher can kill his student unknowingly because he wears armband of Nazi swastika.

By: Sabilla Primadevi
A 320080315
University Muhammadiyah of Surakarta

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