Private Peaceful


Michael Morpurgo

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Mr. Munnings is Tommo and Charlie’s school teacher, who is very strict and has “raging tempers.” On Tommo’s first day of school, Mr. Munnings tells Tommo that he is now his “lord and master.” His inflated sense of his own self-importance and his love of punishment makes him similar to the character of Sergeant Hanley later in the novel. One day, Munnings gives Charlie the cane for defending Tommo in a fight on the playground. Charlie is silent as he is struck, and Tommo is amazed at this show of bravery against the wrath of Munnings. Tommo is later inspired by Charlie’s courage when Munnings strikes Tommo for bringing humbugs to school. Tommo, too takes his punishment with great dignity. Mr. Munnings thus in a way teaches Charlie and Tommo how to courageously deal with a cruel superior.

Mr. Munnings Quotes in Private Peaceful

The Private Peaceful quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Munnings or refer to Mr. Munnings . 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:
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Private Peaceful published in 2003.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Big Jimmy gets it first, and he keeps crying out: “Ow, sir! Ow, sir! Ow, sir!” But when it’s Charlie’s turn, all we hear are the whacks, and then the silences in between. I am so proud of him for that. I have the bravest brother in the world.

Related Characters: Thomas “Tommo” Peaceful (speaker), Jimmy Parsons (speaker), Charlie Peaceful , Mr. Munnings
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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Private Peaceful PDF

Mr. Munnings Character Timeline in Private Peaceful

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Munnings appears in Private Peaceful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Five Past Ten
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon dreading going to school.  He has not only heard all about the terrible teacher Mr. Munnings and his “raging tempers,” but to add to Tommo’s discomfort, he is being forced to... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
They arrive at school, and the children line up in two rows in the schoolyard. Mr. Munnings “cracks his knuckles,” and everyone falls silent. He spots Tommo, the only new boy, and... (full context)
Chapter 2: Twenty to Eleven
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...the fight, but Charlie swoops in and grabs Jimmy Parsons and starts fighting him instead. Mr. Munnings finds Charlie and Jimmy fighting and orders them both “six strokes” of the cane. Everyone... (full context)
Chapter 4: Ten to Midnight
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Tommo has his humbugs confiscated at school, and the spiteful Mr. Munnings gives him six strokes of his ruler as punishment for having them in class. Tommo... (full context)
Chapter 13: One Minute to Six
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
...crying out. He is walking with his head held high, just as he was after Mr. Munnings caned him at school that day.” Tommo likes to imagine there are birds there too.... (full context)