A Critical Analysis Of Elspeth Davie's Short Story, "Sunday Class" With A Bibliography

1032 words - 4 pages

Elspeth Davie's short story, "Sunday Class" is one that juxtaposes a conventional Sunday school with hierarchy. The Sunday School teacher obviously lacks love for animals. Miss McRae is annoyed by the young boy's response to her question of what God wants them to be thankful for? The young boy replies with "dinosaurs", annoyed that all the other children have already blurted out all the good answers. Immediately after the young boys statement we see Miss McRae shift the fur about her neck.According to the codes and conventions proposed by environmentalists and animal lovers one should not wear fur or any other type of material that was made from animals. They support animal rights and make sure that they are enforced and abided. Miss McRae is defying these codes as she shifts the fur about her neck. We can see from this very moment that she has no concern for animals. Her gesture at the mentioning of an animal shows that she feels she is superior to them and doesn't support animal rights.In society there is a notion that individuals with superior status wear a collar. Miss McRae's shifting of her fur collar shows that she has superior status in comparison to the children. It shows that she is the authoritative figure, thus having control of the students. The notion that the material of her collar is fur shows her stance of superiority to animals, thus illuminating her dull concern for animals.Her statement subsequent to the boy's response further illustrates her apathy for animals. She replies, "To be grateful for" in an authoritative way thus warning the youngWilliams 2boy. Her tone suggests that she deemed dinosaurs are not worthy of being categorized as "things to be thankful for". The manner of her statement demands that the bot change hisanswer to something more fitting and appropriate and correct. Miss McRae does not abide by the codes supporting animal rights, she obviously supports those that say animals are inferior to humans and should be used to the advantage of humans.The boy unmoved by her response defies her superior status not feeling at all frightened by her persistence. His stubbornness and refusal to change his response suggests Miss McRae's loss of control. Her authority and superiority that was previously emphasized through her fur collar is challenged and debased by the young boy. At this point she looses her authority. She asks the young boy questions attempting to coax him into changing his answer thus keeping her authority. He in return replies sarcastically, "it doesn't matter". This defiance shows that he holds no respect for this teacher. Trying to regain control she asks him what he has just said. He once again replies with assurance "it doesn't matter". His confidence and boldness has overthrown Miss McRae from the pedestal she has placed herself on.The chart on the wall displays a "fair-haired young man balancing on the apex of a large isosceles triangle, and at grader levels beneath him a variety of animals stare...

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