by Paul Jones
In many ways the title of this 1939 British film could also be seen as representing a “goodbye” to Western Civilization, something which had been on a steady decline since the disastrous, fratricidal W.W. I.
Mr. Chips, as he is called by his students at a traditional, all boys boarding school in England named Brookfield, began his work as a Latin teacher in the late 1800’s, the height of the power of the British Empire. The saying, “the wars of England are won on the playing fields of Eton” was demonstrated through the kind of esprit de corps developed through sports like rugby and cricket. All of this spirit was then channeled into the hysterical patriotism of World War I, as hundreds of thousands of Britain’s finest, many from schools like Brookfield, went manly off to the mass slaughter of trench warfare in France as their schoolmasters…
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