The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz–Words or Whip? The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz–Words or Whip? The whip that a lion-tamer uses is the single most important tool that will assists him in successfully taming the lions. To demonstrate his point clearly to the beasts, he must thrash the lions with his blood-sucking whip whenever they perform an incorrect act. This is the only way that he can communicate with these low-intelligence animals, because lions cannot even understand the most indecent word in the English language. But as for humans, most of us are able to understand the language that the people around us speak. Therefore whipping, caning, strapping, or any kind of corporal punishments are not necessary — they are reserved for animals only.
Not too long ago, teachers at school and parents at home use various forms of corporal punishment on their students and children — there are also several techniques associated with each of them. But as our society becomes more civilized, these savage acts are now looked upon with disdain and contempt. What used to be considered as corporal punishment is now considered as physical abuse. It should be thought of that way long ago. Physical abuse as penalty surely works.
It arouses resentments and bitterness, but it works. If a student does something wrong and gets a whipping for it, he or she will cease doing the same erroneous act again. Though it will not change the way he or she thinks, but it WILL work. The student will not understand why he or she should not behave in that particular manner, and will continue to think that he or she is right, but physical abuse can stop them from doing it again — it definitely works. But in long-term, some people are inclined to rebel against the authority who impose corporal punishments on them. Once they can overpower the authority, they will challenge their masters. Others, like Duddy Kravitz, they get used to their punishments and cannot care less for them. Duddy gets strapped so often that he virtually asks Mr. MacPherson for it.
“So when he led Duddy Kravitz into the Medical Room that afternoon, breaking with a practice of twenty years, the actual blows were feeble, and it was Duddy who emerged triumphant, racing outside to greet his classmates.” Duddy also excitedly announced to his peers: “Hey, look! Look, jerkos! Ten on each. Mac strapped me. Mac, of all people.” Obviously, Duddy is no longer intimidated by strapping. Strapping or any kind of corporal punishment is not an effective way to change human behaviour because it simply cannot change peoples minds. Humans, unlike animals, should be taught with words.
If a student has done something wrong, instead of giving him or her a good strapping, a nice little chat would be more appropriate. The teacher must make the student understand what he or she has done and why it should not have been done. The teacher must make the student feel that he or she is wrong. That way, the awful act is unlikely to recur. Mr. MacPherson should be praised for his virtue of not strapping any boy. It is very good of him to understand the futility of corporal punishments. It is quite unfortunate that he gives up this virtue when finally can not stand the pressure of his wifes death and Duddys agitation.