Summary of the novel
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Chips’ early life:
Mr. Chips, an old man of eight five, sitting in a room in the house of Mrs. Wickett, recalls to his memory all the events of his long life one by one. Chips (Chipping) was born in 1848. After completing his education at the age of 21, he started teaching as the Melbury school. After one year, he joined the Brookfield school as a teacher in 1870. Brookfield was an old grammar school of second rate. At that time, Me. Wetherby was the headmaster of this school. He advised Chips to have good discipline in the classes. Chips met his first class of 500 boys in a big room. Boys tried to trouble him. Mr. Chips took a attitude from the very beginning.
Marriage with Katherine:
Chips remained a bachelor till he was forty eight. He visited the Lake District in the summer vacation of 1896 with a fellow teacher Rowden. He met Katherine Bridges on a mountain. Great Gable in the Lake District. He fell in love with Katherine. She was about twenty five years younger than Chips. They loved with each other greatly. They got married in London.
The marriage had a very good effect on Chips. He was very happy after his marriage. His discipline in his classes became better. His teaching became interesting. He became broad-minded and began making jokes in his classes Katherine became quite popular at Brookfield. She gave him good pieces of advice and went with him to the parties of the school. She even knew singing and often sung to his pleasure. After two years of her marriage Katherine died in 1898.
After Katherine’s death:
Chips became very serious after Katherine’s death. He looked old man at the age of 50 years. He was a senior teacher now. His classes improved much. He did not change his gown even if it got tattered.
Ralston-The new headmaster:
After the death of Welbery Meldrum had become the headmaster of the Brookfield. He worked as headmaster till his death in 1900 for thirty years. After the death of Meldrum Chips became acting headmaster of the school. In 1900, a young man of thirty seven, Ralston became the headmaster. He was quite strict towards the boys and kept good discipline in the school.
Chips quarrel with Ralston:
Chips did not like Ralston’s attitude towards others. Ralston also did not like Chips way of teaching and habit. Chips was and old fashioned person while Ralston had modern ideas about life. He objected to chips method of teaching and dress. He asked Chips to resign but Chips refused. The board of governors running the school supported Chips and kept him in the school.
In 1911, Ralston left Brookfield and a young man Chatteris aged 34 became the new headmaster in 1913, Chips resigned at the age of 65, as he had fallen seriously ill. The school gave a grand farewell party to Chips.
Visit to Germany:
Mr. Chips had severe attack of bronchitis which fasted for six months before retirement. Soon after his retirement from service, he went to Germany for a few months for medical treatment. In September 1913, he returned from Germany.
Rented room at Mrs. Wicett’s house:
After returning from Germany, Chips rented a room in Mrs. Wickett’s house across the road from the school. He went on visiting Brookfield and working for it. Now he was very healthy. His life ar Mrs. Wickeet’s house was quite happy. He passed his time in reading novels, writing articles, meeting old Brookfield boys and watching games at the school play ground.
In 1916, during the first world war, Chips again joined the Brookfield school as a teacher when the headmaster Chatteris asked him to do so. The next year in 1917, Chatteris fell seriously ill and Chips became the acting headmaster in his place. When Chatteris died in April, 1918, Chips went on working as headmaster. In November 1918 the first world war came to an end. Chips again fell seriously ill and again resigned from service.
Chips’ life after second retirement:
Mr. Chips passed most of his time at Mrs. Wickett’s house after his second retirement. He welcomed old students of Brookfield at his house and entertained them well. He remembered his past as a teacher, and his dead wife in 1930, Chips made his will.
Last scene- Chip’s death:
In November 1933, Chips suddenly fell ill. He became unconscious. When he got conscious he found himself on a bed. At last, he died remembering his students.
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