The metaphor essay
Would you judge someone based on what other people think or make your own opinion about them? The metaphor by Budge Wilson is about a young girl named charlotte that had a teacher named Miss Hancock as her teacher in grade 7, and liked her very much. Mrs. Hancock had a way of teaching that made her students enjoy to learn literature. Charlottes family moves the year that she is going into high school so she had to learn to adapt. Charlotte ended up having Miss Hancock as her teacher again for grade 10, but the kids in senior high don’t feel the same way about Mrs. Hancock as they did when charlotte was in junior high. Charlotte decided to go along with what the people in senior high thought about Miss Hancock. The story has an expository sad ending when Miss Hancock is hit by a school bus and died. Which was quite ironic considering that she was a teacher. Charlotte struggled and had some person vs self-conflict blaming herself for not treating Miss Hancock very nicely. Charlottes mother was not very nice about the whole situation and told charlotte to stop acting like a child and let It go.
Miss Hancock and charlottes mother both shaped her into the kind and caring person that she is in two very different ways, Miss Hancock was a very positive person who chose to be bold and unique, “she was fond of luminous frosted lipsticks-in hot pink, or something closer to magenta” and “her eyelashes curled up and out singly, like a row of tiny bent sticks”. She impacted her students by leaving a creative mark on them, she made charlotte feel very welcomed in the class, even when she shared her metaphor about her mother with the class and it was quite unusual and unique Miss Hancock responded with “that’s perfectly fine. I just wanted you to know your writing was very intriguing today, and that it showed a certain maturity that surprised and delighted me”. Charlottes mother was not very understanding or nurturing to charlotte. Charlottes mother seemed to want her to be ordinary. Charlottes mother was not like Mrs. Hancock at all. She didn’t have a very energetic and bubbly personality that was able to see the good in every piece of literature. Unlike Miss Hancock Charlottes mother was simple, plain and genuine, her hair and makeup was traditional and put together. For the metaphors about her mother charlotte wrote multiple different ones but in the end they all seemed to have the same meaning, that her mother had multiple different sides to her that were not all easy to see right away. She referred to her in one of them as “a white picket fence-straight, level. The fence stands in a field of weeds. The field is bounded on its other sides by thorny bushes and barbed wire. Her mother though of Miss Hancock as “brassy, overdone with too much enthusiasm”.
The classroom and charlottes home life impacted her as well because they were so different. In the classroom she was taught to be creative and explore with writing metaphors within the class, and outside of class her household was always quiet, since she was an only child and her mother was quite strict with her. Charlottes mother wanted her toys always put away or kept In one spot as she motioned she was a little girl her mother wanted her to keep her toys in order and said things like “you don’t want to have those blocks all over the carpet. Why not keep them in one spot like over here behind daddy’s chair”. Therefore, there was no time for imagination or play, unlike in the classroom when they were encouraged to express themselves. In charlottes home everything needed to be organized and tidy, which rubbed off onto charlotte a little. She mentions how that when she got out of the bath she would clean it carefully, and that she had to do that. Charlotte enjoyed Miss Hancock’s class more than being at home so she spent a lot of time in the classroom. Although charlotte was raised indirectly to stay away from creativity, she was drawn to it and learned to like literature from Miss Hancock. She wrote metaphors secretly in the bathtub so her mother would not know or she would hide behind her duo tang. Later in the story charlotte feels a lot of regret for not letting Miss Hancock know how much she cared about her.
Lastly, charlottes guilt. She felt as if she was responsible for Miss Hancock’s death and was very hard on herself about it all, although her mother did not ever like Miss Hancock because she thought her teaching style was too stimulated and innovational, in fact she even said to charlotte “I’ll have to ask you to stop this nonsense”. “You’re disturbing the even tenor of our home”. That obviously did not make her feel better about the whole thing. She wished that she had treated Miss Hancock the same as she did in junior high, kindly and was always open to hear her opinions. The kids in senior high felt as though Miss Hancock’s way of teaching was more junior high appropriate. But unfortunately by the time she was in high school she started caring more about her being popular and fitting in, she became more like her mother in some ways because she let others change her opinion on Miss Hancock and that was maybe partly because she wanted to fit in and “be cool”. She also should not have let others decide how she felt about her. She never told anyone that she knew Miss Hancock beforehand, and she didn’t want anyone to know that she wrote metaphors even though she secretly still wrote them. “still writing metaphors?” asked Miss Hancock. “oh I dunno”. Then charlotte says how she was “nightly, in the bathtub” and she kept a small notebook so she could write it all down this shows that although charlotte was not able to admit to other people that she appreciated Miss Hancock’s teaching, she still learned a lot from her.
Overall, I think the message of the story is to not judge someone based on what other people think and make your own opinion on them. You can see charlottes true character come out at the end of the story when she realizes that she was wrong. She starts to cry and blames herself and believes that she should’ve been more kind to Miss Hancock considering all that she had done for her. Miss Hancock helped charlotte become a more positive and caring person by allowing her imagination to flow, which lead to creative metaphors. In the end of the story charlotte writes a metaphor about Miss Hancock. She says that she was a birthday cake she wished that the party wasn’t over, because she wishes that everyone was able to enjoy her. The other adults did not like her because they thought she was too “brassy and overdone” when in reality she was just young hearted and wanted the children to learn to love literature in a way that most teachers wouldn’t teach.