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Man's Ability to Adapt as Evidenced in To Sir With Love


  In the novel To Sir With Love various human characteristics are

portrayed. Of these, the idea that humans are able to adapt and change

their way of thinking seems to be demonstrated throughout the story. In the

novel, both the teacher, Braithewaite, and his students end up going

through many changes that ultimately result in their coming to change their

way of thinking about each other. In life, as in this fictionalized

account, the ability to adapt to the world around one's self is a very

important trait. In my own life, this has occured on many occasions. Thus,

it can be said that to be able to change and adapt ourselves and our ways

at looking at things to our to our situations we are truly at advantage.

 In the story, Braithewaite begins with a set of preconceived ideas about

his students. He expects them to be unintelligent, rough, racially

intolerant children with no future-hardly deserving of his respect. But, as

he sees later, they are are the total opposites of his of his initial

ideas. This is gradually shown through their actions, such as such as the

students all going to visit the house of their black friend during his

crisis, or their learning to treat each other with respect;they learned to

address each other as their last names, inthe case of the boys, and "Miss",

for the girls. For the students,they learned to respect and really learn

from their teacher,something they had never cared to do before.

Braithewaite helped them to break out of the the pattern of intolerance and

roughness that society had placed them in. They began to respect themselves

and then to respect others. In short, it was obvious that both the teacher

and his students were able to adapt their way of thinking to their

advantage;they did not get stuck in their original set of preconceived

notions about each other. This is a key point of the novel, this idea that

people can change their ways.

 In my own experiences, I have ended up changing my ways as I have become

wiser. One example would be my relationship with my older sister. As a

child, I constantly fought with her over everything and never tried tried

to get to understand her. Gradually, though, as I grew older, I learned to

accept and to understand her. Now, though we still argue about a lot of

things, I feel my relationship with her has improved and I am beginning to

understand her. This has taken a complete change in my way of looking at

her;I now look at her as a nice person with much to offer me, rather than

as my evil sister.This has been a true example of my being able to change

my way of thinking towards an individual. The concept of man being able to

alter his ways is a crucial element to his living in a society such as

ours. All of us must learn to accept individual hardships, and all of us

must be able to adapt to our ever-changing world. World leaders must adjust

their way of thinking about an evolving third world country, or a growing

superpower. An employee must adapt to be able to perform his job adequetly.

All of us have had to gradually adapt in order to live together as a

relatively cohesive, well ordered society. It is clear that nothing remains

constant in our world of change except change itself. It is our ability to

learn and to adapt our ways that has brought humans as far forward as they

are today. As a species, we have gone from living as naked savages to

relatively living as relatively civilized individuals. This would never

have been possible had it not been for our ability to change our ways of

thinking. For humans, then, it is our ability to change that has put us

where we are today and is our key to further advancement, both as societies

and as people.

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