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Here There Be Tygers

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“Here There Be Tygers” By Stephen King

“Logic will get you from A to Z, imagination will get you everywhere.” (Albert Einstein). This is just one out of Albert Einstein’s many famous quotes about imagination. Einstein was against society and its way to learn and educate children. Now at days society has high expectation that we follow the rules and focus on getting good grades. Yes, knowledge is off cause a good thing and we need that to learn and evolve to be mature adults. Knowledge will get you from A to Z, but imagination can take you wherever you like to go. Off cause we have to follow the set of rules society makes, but that doesn’t give them the right to tell us what to do or interfere in our naturally evolvement.
”Here there be tygers”(1968), is a short story written by Stephen King. The short story is about how a boy’s imagination and free will, can lead a rebellious strike against modern society. The story is narrated from Charles’ perspective and the narrator is a third person, nom-omniscient narrator.
The story takes place in the Acorn Street Grammar School. We can’t be sure about the historical time, but two posters on the bulletin board in the hall within the school indicate that the historical time might take place around the 1970’s in USA. The woodsy owl made its first appearance in 1971 and officer friendly was an officer in the U.S Marine Corps who travelled around to schools in the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Within the school, the story especially takes place in the third-grade classroom, the basement and the bathroom inside the basement. The basement is generally described as where the boilers are kept and well-groomed ladies and gentlemen would never go down there but they would rather go to the bathroom. These two places throughout the story confuse Charles, who finds it rather hard to decide where to go to urinate.
Charles is a third-grader who goes to Acorn Street Grammar School. There are three third-grade teachers. Miss Kinney, Mrs. Trask and Miss Bird who he above all fears the most. Charles is describing Miss Bird as a cruel teacher whose only purpose is to destroy him. Charles therefore has a really bad relationship to his teacher Miss Bird, who constantly humiliates him: “You may go to the bathroom and urinate. Is that what you need to do? Urinate?" (P. 2, line 10). Miss Bird humiliates him in front of the whole class and understandably for Charles, can it be really embarrassing. Miss Bird is a teacher which purpose is not only to learn, but also duty-bound to educate kids in manners. That she is doing by telling the difference between the basement and the bathroom. Miss Bird is employment by the public sector and therefore has to follow the government’s expectations, about how they think kids should be educated. Miss Bird therefore represents the society and is a symbol in the short story for the society and their expectations.
Charles is generally very confused about what he should do: “He walked down toward the boy’s bathroom (basement basement basement IF I WANT)”. (P. 3, line 24). On his way to urinate at the bathroom, Charles’ mind constantly speaks to him and tells him to do the opposite what Miss’ Bird told him. His imagination wants to break free, from the prison that has been built around it. And so it does. At the boy’s bathroom, Charles sees a tiger around the corner. This terrifies him and it forces him, to urinate in the porcelain basin. The tiger is only in Charles imagination. Charles imagination is toying with him and tries to make him do the opposite what is considered normal. In this case, urinate in a toilet.
In Charles school they have a bulletin board. On the bulletin board are there two posters. The one with the woodsy owl and the one with officer friendly. These two posters symbolize the society’s interfering in children’s manners and education. The woodsy owl was made with the purpose to make children appreciate nature, and officer friendly’s purpose was to inform about the dangerous things, but also to acquaint children with the law. When Charles is on his way back to his classroom, he read the two posters: “Charles read everything twice. Then he went back to the classroom,” (P. 5, line 30-31). The posters intention is to make the reader think about the message it is trying to send. Charles reads the posters, both twice and after that his going back to his classroom to his seat. Charles doesn’t give any of the posters any thoughts because his just a kid and he can’t relate to it. He is living within his own world, and doesn’t care about what the society want or expect him to do.

Charles is only a third-grader and his imagination is already in chains. Eventually his mind breaks free from its chains and his imagination can flow freely. In “here there be tygers”, Miss Bird represents the society. Society put too big of an afford in, to educate kids. Kids there aren’t even teenager yet. It can be dangerous to interfere with a kid’s imagination and that we clearly see by looking at Charles. Charles is really confused about a lot of thing and his own imagination even end up terrifying him.

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