The Words Or The Whip? Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship Of Essay, Research Paper
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz–Words or Whip?
The whip that a lion-tamer uses is the single most important tool that
will assists him in successfully taming the lions. To demonstrate his
point clearly to the beasts, he must thrash the lions with his
blood-sucking whip whenever they perform an incorrect act. This is the
only way that he can communicate with these low-intelligence animals,
because lions cannot even understand the most indecent word in the
English language. But as for humans, most of us are able to understand
the language that the people around us speak. Therefore whipping,
caning, strapping, or any kind of corporal punishments are not necessary
– they are reserved for animals only.
Not too long ago, teachers at school and parents at home use various
forms of corporal punishment on their students and children — there are
also several techniques associated with each of them. But as our
society becomes more civilized, these savage acts are now looked upon
with disdain and contempt. What used to be considered as corporal
punishment is now considered as physical abuse. It should be thought of
that way long ago.
Physical abuse as penalty surely works. It arouses resentments and
bitterness, but it works. If a student does something wrong and gets a
whipping for it, he or she will cease doing the same erroneous act
again. Though it will not change the way he or she thinks, but it WILL
work. The student will not understand why he or she should not behave
in that particular manner, and will continue to think that he or she is
right, but physical abuse can stop them from doing it again — it
definitely works. But in long-term, some people are inclined to rebel
against the authority who impose corporal punishments on them. Once
they can overpower the authority, they will challenge their masters.
Others, like Duddy Kravitz, they get used to their punishments and
cannot care less for them. Duddy gets strapped so often that he
virtually asks Mr. MacPherson for it.
“So when he led Duddy Kravitz into the Medical Room that afternoon,
breaking with a practice of twenty years, the actual blows were feeble,
and it was Duddy who emerged triumphant, racing outside to greet his
Duddy also excitedly announced to his peers: “Hey, look! Look, jerkos!
Ten on each. Mac strapped me. Mac, of all people.” Obviously, Duddy
is no longer intimidated by strapping. Strapping or any kind of
corporal punishment is not an effective way to change human behaviour
because it simply cannot change people?s minds.
Humans, unlike animals, should be taught with words. If a student has
done something wrong, instead of giving him or her a good strapping, a
nice little chat would be more appropriate. The teacher must make the
student understand what he or she has done and why it should not have
been done. The teacher must make the student feel that he or she is
wrong. That way, the awful act is unlikely to recur.
Mr. MacPherson should be praised for his virtue of not strapping any
boy. It is very good of him to understand the futility of corporal
punishments. It is quite unfortunate that he gives up this virtue when
finally can not stand the pressure of his wife?s death and Duddy?s
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