It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a ‘Top Five Wednesday’ post (January to be precise), so today I’m here to rectify that mistake and join in the fun once more! The theme for this week was favourite teachers/mentors. These can be teachers in the traditional professional role, or those who come more in the guise of friends/mentors. I’ve got quite a mix in my top five picks this week, with some likable and some very much dislikable characters! I hope you enjoy.
- Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
My first answer is a pretty easy and quite obvious one. I loved Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the two sequels in the series, and despite remaining absent for portions of the books I do still think Miss Peregrine herself is a fabulous character. She maintains quite a traditional teacher role, supervising the children under her care and making them aware of the dangers which lurk around them. Likewise, she also offers the children hope, the chance to be something more than a strange child who is different to most of their peers. In Miss Peregrine the children find a home full of love, even if it is pretty unconventional. Plus, emotions aside, she’s an extremely badass female character who refuses to let the enemies win. A pretty big inspiration all round!
2. Sherlock Holmes (no explanation necessary!)
Next up, we have the iconic Sherlock Holmes. Now obviously Holmes is a detective and not a teacher, but I think that the double act he partakes in with Dr Watson shows quite clearly his ability to educate those around him in what he believes should clearly be ‘elementary’. That final moment of one of his cases where he finally decides to divulge the truth behind the mystery to everyone, including Watson, the other characters, and the reader themselves, is a prime example of how Holmes showcases his detective knowledge. We are all effectively pupils of Holmes, waiting with bated breath to have our teacher gift unto us the correct answers. Likewise, many of the characters are eager to prove their detective prowess to Holmes, seeking approval from this iconic figure and master of knowledge.
3. Burrich and Chade from the Farseer Trilogy
I’m actually slightly cheating with this next answer, as I couldn’t chose between two of the characters in this book. You all know how much I loved Assassin’s Apprentice, and in these books we see many mentors helping Fitz as he grows from a child into a deadly assassin. Most obviously we have Burrich, arguably the most important figure in Fitz’s life and the man who adopts the father figure role. Burrich teaches Fitz much in life, showing him how to respect and correctly care for the animals within the castle grounds, as well as navigating him successfully through the dangerous royal court, a treacherous place which is not safe for a royal assassin. My second answer comes in the form of Chade. Chade takes on much more of a professional role, actually imparting to Fitz the skills which he needs in order to become a trained assassin. These are skills which will become crucial to Fitz, saving his life and aiding his cause multiple times over. I really like the dynamics between both Chade and Burrich and think its wonderful how such different ways of teaching can often come down to the same thing; survival.
4. Miss Honey from Matilda
Matilda might seem like quite an obvious choice to make here, but it’s one I’m 100% committed to making anyway. Miss Honey is undoubtedly one of the most iconic teachers in the literary world. She not only understand but actively encourages Matilda’s love of reading, showing her that the most important thing she can do is to be herself. Of course, the tables also turn wonderfully within this book, with Matilda actually teaching Miss Honey that she should no longer be scared herself, and that she is strong enough to stand up to the deliciously evil Miss Trunchbull once and for all. Together, Matilda and Miss Honey form an inseparable bond, the lines between teacher and pupil blurring continuously. I also just love the cheesy but ever so happy ending in which Miss Honey adopts Matilda. Why can’t all teachers be this inspiring??
5. Fagin from Oliver Twist
Lastly for this week we have a ‘teacher’ who is in no way likeable, but is still someone I absolutely love reading about anyway. You all know how much I love Dickens, but I think his character of Fagin is one of his greatest and most interesting creations. Fagin is a criminal leader, tempting young lads into his gang and corrupting them until they are able to work the streets thieving for him. Whilst the negatives for Fagin grossly outweigh the positives, there is also something undeniable charismatic about him. His methods might be questionable, but he does offer these poverty stricken children a home which many would argue is better than the workhouse alternative. Additionally, whilst Fagin teachers the boys questionable morals, he does provide for them a pseudo-family of their own making; a community which is cut throat, but is perhaps better than fending for yourself on you own. Ultimately he is a villain in the greatest sense, but aren’t some of the very best villains the ones who still manage to charm us somehow?
So these are my top five teachers/mentors for this week! Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Who would your top five teachers be? Let me know down below!