Here's another of those books read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage
, Philip. Gah!
This was pretty awful. I thought it might be one of those archetypal British school boys books. I rather liked Stalky and Company
when I read it, both as a youth and again as a more "mature" person. A year of so ago, I tried Tom Brown's School Days
and found it unreadable, so I gave up on it. Anyway, perhaps this book is also meant to be a British school boy book, but it was also flagrantly written to provide moral teaching to young boys. What it actually shows, however, is a complete moral bankruptcy on the part of the author.
So, we have adolescent boys doing the kinds of things adolescent boys do. They have some rules handed down from above, but aren't given reasons for those rules other than being told, I suppose, that breaking them will inevitably lead to moral decay. But, the masters in the school pretty much ignore the boys and they, being adolescent boys, run amok when they can. Once in a while, they are caught stepping over the ill-defined lines (one of their masters awakes from his un-noticing moralistic trance, or something), and then their good, moral masters beat the living crap out of them with sticks. So, that's how we make Christians out of people: set incongruous rules; publicly humiliate people who break the rules, even inadvertently; and beat the living crap out of them if they piss the masters off too much with their adolescent behavior.
Then you have teenage boys constantly crying about one thing or another, holding hands, hooking their arms around each other's necks, and so forth. In what planet does that happen?