Chike’s School Days

The Schoolteacher Character Analysis

Notorious among the village schoolchildren for beating students with his cane, the schoolteacher provides Chike and his peers with their first introduction to the English language. For younger students, the schoolteacher instructs songs about the catechism and Western history—one that is particularly memorable to Chike is about Julius Caesar being the ruler of the world. The schoolteacher is stricter with the older students, using English words to tease and scold them for being late or lazy. He also begins to introduce longer, more complicated English words. Chike notes “periwinkle,” “procrastination,” and, in the context of a lesson about seed dispersal, the phrase “explosive mechanism.”

The Schoolteacher Quotes in Chike’s School Days

The Chike’s School Days quotes below are all either spoken by The Schoolteacher or refer to The Schoolteacher. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Chike’s School Days published in 1991.
Chike’s School Days Quotes

It did not matter to their dancing that in the twentieth century Caesar was no longer ruler of the whole world.

Related Characters: Chike, The Schoolteacher
Related Symbols: Songs
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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According to the teacher, there were five methods: by man, by animals, by water, by wind, and by explosive mechanism. Even those pupils who forgot all the other methods remembered “explosive mechanism.”

Related Characters: Chike, The Schoolteacher
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Schoolteacher Character Timeline in Chike’s School Days

The timeline below shows where the character The Schoolteacher appears in Chike’s School Days. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chike’s School Days
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Leadership and Authority Theme Icon
Language and the Struggle to Create Meaning Theme Icon
...pencil, eager to begin learning in spite of his older sisters’ threatening warnings about the schoolteacher. An Igbo song they sing ominously warns that the teacher, with his scary cane, “flogged... (full context)
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Language and the Struggle to Create Meaning Theme Icon
...the sound and the rhythm. In one Igbo song the students sing in class, the teacher asks the students who Julius Caesar is. Chike and his peers reply that he is... (full context)
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Language and the Struggle to Create Meaning Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
The schoolteacher has a huge vocabulary that really impresses Chike. He likes to use big, impressive words... (full context)