Goodbye Mr. Chips Anti-War Theme

Mr. Chips Anti-War Theme


What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.

War cannot be justified under any rhyme and reason. When the World War I broke out in 1914, it became the largest conflict that the story had ever seen. The British Empire sent nine million men to war and lost nearly one million of them. Most of them were the public school boys like those mentioned in the “Goodbye Mr. Chips”.


This war was “the first shock and then the first optimism” as many in England thought it would end soon and be “the war to end all wars”. With this attitude and propaganda everywhere the army was urging the young men to join the troops regardless of age and height. As in chapter No.13, it has been quoted that Forrester was the smallest boy at Brookfield, who was killed in 1918.

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Older men declare war. But it’s the youth who must fight and die! {Herbert Hoover} To Mr. Chips, it seemed tragically sensational when the first old Brookfield was killed in action. Mr. Chips criticized the Officer Training Corps in the following words, when he came to know that the boys from the same school fought against France hundred years ago:-

“Strange, in a way, that the sacrifices of one generation cancel out those of another”


For the first time in history, new weapons of mass destruction were used killing hundred thousand of citizens. Each week newspapers published lengthy casualty lists like those Chips or Chatteris read out on every Sunday night.


Brookfield was an educational institution yet the Military Campus sprung up near Brookfield and Brookfield OTC was developed swiftly; that’s why most of the younger masters were in military uniform for training. The Antiwar theme has also been depicted through Mr. Chips comments about food rationing system during the war.

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Mr. Chips had sympathy for Max Staefel, the German mister, while other had despised him because he belonged to an enemy country although he served at Brookfield.


Mr. Chips had anti-war ideas i.e. “the ideas of dignity and generosity that were becoming rare in a frantic world”. About “bayonet-practice” Chips held the view that it was a very vulgar way of killing people”.


According to him all the explosives used in the war were the invention of a new kind of mischief by some stink merchant in his laboratory. Moreover, the affairs of war were least important to him as he kept his usual lecture even during the air-raid.


Through the ideas and comments of Mr. Chips James Hilton has very aptly highlighted war as un-welcomed evil passion. War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

Again, there are a lot of difficulties here. Because questions and answers may vary. I am already silent about the cognitive abilities of such software, which, most likely, will differ even more from the original. It may not be possible to implement them at all. But really, the creation of smart programs, at the moment, is a very promising direction. Therefore, this is one of the reasons that I write a lot. J Namely,

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