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Literature Chapter 6 - The Browning Version

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in chapter 6, NCERT Class 11 English Hornbill – The Browning Version. It will help you to understand the gist of the story and important phases in this story.


This chapter deals with a story about a student and his conversation with a teacher. The story is an excerpt from The Browning Version. It is in the form of a dialogue between a student and a teacher. The conversation presented in the story is light-hearted and describes the perception of the student about teachers and how he expresses this to another teacher. This story brings out flavours of friendship, bonding and another side of schooling like punishments, teachers being a sadist. It is focused on a particular teacher named Mr Cocker-Harris, who is very strict and upright in his work.

Character List

  • Frank – A young teacher. He is a young teacher and has an openness to accept the perception of students. In the conversation, he is seen to be liberal with the student and tries to understand the mindset of the student.

  • Taplow – A 16-year-old boy. He is a student and feels he has got his ‘remove’ by the teacher. Taplow is a young boy with dozens of thoughts revolving in his mind about teachers, education system and science. He sincerely waits for the teacher to do extra work so that he is promoted to the next term.

  • Mr Cocker-Harris – A middle-aged teacher. He is a very strict teacher with no room for any mistakes. Mr Harris does not let the students take his subject easily. He makes them do the work without any excuse and has all the good qualities which are to the extreme as he does not compromise on anything.

  • Millie Cocker-Harris – Wife of Mr Cocker-Harris. She seems to be polite and suggests Taplow that he should take a break and return back to her home in some time so that he can meet her husband who expectedly will come back home late.


This chapter is taken from the story ‘The Browning Version’. It is a dialogue between a student and a teacher. The teacher Frank is young and this might be the reason that Taplow opens up to him. The bonding between the two is seen. Taplow is a young student who doubts his promotion to next term and comes to the staff room to do extra work for Mr Cocker-Harris. He jumps into a conversation with Mr Frank, a young teacher and shares his perception about teachers and especially about Mr Cocker-Harris. Taplow goes on with his observations and feels at a point, he has gone too far.

He also expresses that Mr Cocker-Harris is very strict but is not a sadist, unlike other teachers. This surprises Mr Frank and he asks for more explanation on this. He is saddened thinking about the changing education system. They both discuss such serious issues without any hesitation. The bonding comes as a surprise as they are unknown to each other.

Taplow is seen as a dedicated and sincere student as he does not accept the suggestion of Frank to take a break and come back later. He waits for Mr Cocker-Harris sincerely and does not adopt any unfair method. It also shows he is afraid at the same time respects Mr Cocker-Harris. Frank admits he feels a little jealous of how Mr Cocker-Harris has impacted the students.

Their conversation is interrupted by Millie Cocker-Harris. Frank and Taplow are terrified of seeing her and wonder if she heard their discussion. She suggests Taplow take a break and return later as her husband might be late. He insists on staying as he worried if he comes before Taplow returns. She politely asks him to take a prescription to the chemist and make it up, and he obliges.

To know more on The Browning Version Class 11 NCERT Solutions, and for ‘The Browning Version’ NCERT Solutions, refer to NCERT Solutions of The Browning Version PDF.

Click on the links below to browse English Chapter 6 – The Browning Version Class 11 extra question and answers. 

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