Title: Headmaster

Author: Jalal Al-Ahmad

Publisher: Ferdows

Subject: Persian short story

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 128 p

Language: Farsi

Categories: ,


Headmaster is Jalal Al-Ahmad

Jalal Al-Ahmad, who wrote this book as the first novel of his different style and style, examines the disorders and unheard of the country’s educational environment in a different way than his other writings. In fact, Al-Ahmad, like a skilled and knowledgeable surgeon, touches the point of injury of the atmosphere in the educational environment and tries to heal it. The school principal is not only the heart of many educators in the community, but also reflects the many shortcomings that have plagued teachers and students for years.

A teacher who has ten years of experience teaching the alphabet to stunned students, tired of teaching, thinks of finding a management position that he finds comfortable and painless. In his mind, he gets rid of a big trouble and, sitting behind a desk, goes through all the problems of the day in peace.
The school principal, in order to achieve this goal, runs for two months, from department to department, and from official to official, and finally, by giving a bribe of 150,000, he realizes that he will become the school principal.
He happily goes to the school to get acquainted with the environment and its staff and teachers. The school, however, is located far from the city, and this changes the taste of the school principal a little at first. A moderator and a few teachers and a caretaker who lends money to everyone!
Children who grew up in a poor environment and all but a few are poor. This generalization of the existing school seems a little worrying for the school principal. He first makes every effort to organize the existing space. He forbids the moderator from beating the children with sticks and sticks, treats the children with tolerance, throws the teachers under his wings and tries to strengthen the sense of honor and respect that he wants in all of them.

These reforms establish a fictitious order in the school environment for the first few days; But this is not the end of the story.
Every day, the school principal is confronted with all kinds of things that not only deprive him of peace; It also restores the school to its former state.
Stories such as two students having sex, the accident of one of the school teachers, the cancer of the supervisor’s mother, and the arrival of the students’ parents to protest the sexual issues in the school, cause the school principal a mountain of new troubles. He tries his best to solve these problems and refer to them, but he does not succeed. It is as if everything they hit is knocked on the closed door!
The reader of the work identifies with the school principal and his role in doing things, but behind all this, he waits for the climax of the novel. Eventually, the school principal comes to this conclusion with sheer frustration, fails to manage the school, and submits his resignation letter to the director of education.

Story analysis:
The school principal is a symbol of the community in which Jalal lives. A society full of conflict and contradiction that you look at from all sides, there is a kind of confusion and chaos.

The school principal is a representative of the people who have been trying for years to reform the various affairs of the society, but in the end, in despair, they had no choice but to resign and retreat from their positions. All those who have felt the pain and suffering caused by injustice and disorder with all their being and have eagerly and compassionately sought to resolve them, but, frustrated by the wave of their opposition, have turned a corner of solitude and become careless of all their ideals.

The school principal, however, gets tired very quickly; It is as if he consciously knows that he is not going anywhere and does not give in to change and reform as he should and perhaps does. He tries, but not with all his being and energy. He seems to know that everything is pre-planned and he has no place for change in this program.
Inadequate educational space; Teachers with few salaries and benefits, and students who have chosen the wrong path instead of the wrong way, all want to be reminded of one principle: inefficiency.
Whether in the field of general management of education at the national level or as a simple school principal.
This inefficiency quickly dampens the excitement of reform. To the extent that every attempt fails.

The school principal represents the people
The school principal not only represents the Iranian people in the imperial system, but also represents the cultural strata of our country these days. A class that is still in the grip of basic educational, material and cultural needs. While education and its trustees all over the world have a more important degree than all the institutions of late.

Apart from the political and cultural analysis of this book, the school principal does not have the excitement and knot necessary for a strong novel, but because it is Jalal al-Ahmad’s first book with a special style and context, it is considered one of his best literary works.

The teacher theme is present in all literary works, as well as in some translations, such as Dostoevsky’s The Gambler. The reason for this is the correct and timely understanding of Jalal of all the shortcomings and shortcomings in the educational system of the country as a teacher. A compassionate teacher who has worked hard to portray a corner of a teacher’s life and thoughts.
Al-Ahmad’s poor rise and fall in the school principal has drawn much criticism of the work. But what is certain is Jalal’s special way of reconstructing the school principal and his short sentences and fluent descriptions, which keeps the reader satisfied with reading this book.

Jalal Al-Ahmad, a famous Iranian writer and translator, wrote the school principal’s novel with a simple and slang prose as the first novel of his style.

This novel, which is the result of Jalal Al-Ahmad’s personal experience during his years of teaching as a teacher, reflects the educational atmosphere of our country at the time of the author. The school principal represents teachers, principals, and educators who have worked hard for years to teach literacy and science to astonished students in their classroom.

Excerpts from the school principal’s book (text pleasure)
The next morning, I went to school. The children went to the classroom in their queues, and the woodcutter was standing on the porch, with only two teachers in the office. It turned out to be their daily work. I also sent the moderator to another class and I came to walk in the school myself; The north and east sides of the school were alleys.

Potential alleys. They passed straight through the middle of the empty desert and reached the main street, which was asphalted and the bus went there, and there were trees, shops and settlements. I thought that wherever they came from, they would see me at school, and they would be embarrassed all the way and would not be late. But was it fitting for me to be so strict at first?

I was so embarrassed to see the mortal figures of the rights of others that it was as if I had stolen their property.

If the teachers can not laugh in a quarter of an hour of fun, they will beat the people’s children at the head of the class, and if they do not take the tiredness of science out of each other’s bodies and brains, they will fall asleep at the head of the class.

School Principal Book Review
One of the most influential ministries in any country is the Ministry of Education. The officials of this ministry train future managers in the society. The sensitive job of this ministry requires extremely high accuracy in selecting teachers and instructors.

In the book of the school principal, Jalal Al-Ahmad, in the context of a story about the life of a teacher, reviews the situation of education in Iran before the Islamic Revolution and records the bribes and rent-seeking of the officials of this ministry.

About the school principal’s book
The School Principal is the story of a teacher who is tired of being a teacher and wants to become a principal of another school to earn more money through bribery and corrupt practices. He eventually becomes the principal of a school with about two hundred and fifty students and seven teachers and a moderator, and suddenly finds himself in the midst of these people’s conflicts.

In a part of the book, he says: “I also read nonsense about the fact that the age of a teacher and a student should not be too far apart, and the distance between two generations between yesterday’s men and tomorrow’s children and this vanity … I am also busy with my own work. Was. “I would close the office and write a hundred and one geese in the heat of the government heater.”

School Principal Book Review
The story of the school principal, written by Jalal Al-Ahmad in 1337, is a critique of the Iranian educational system before the revolution. In this book, Al-Ahmad addresses all government issues. He depicts the issue of bribery and bribery in offices and the power of money in government decision-making during the imperial rule of the 1940s and 1950s.

In the middle of the story, he makes a serious critique of the ascetics and the abbeys and criticizes the privileges of foreign nationals. In one part of the book, he tells the story of a neighborhood that is overcrowded just because an American lives in it, and denies the glory of it.
Jalal Al-Ahmad’s technique is unique in storytelling. He has a coherent plot in his stories. The coherent plot of the story makes reading this book not boring for you and the linear narration of the book is full of ups and downs that connect the climaxes of the story.

Jalal al-Ahmad’s characterization is very fascinating, because Jalal has in fact been in close contact with the characters in his book and has touched them in the true sense of the word. Jalal has dealt with the character of the school principal in such a way that the reader realizes from the very first lines of the book that this person is disillusioned and frustrated with the social conditions and even his efforts to improve this situation are not enough.
The interesting thing about Jalal Al-Ahmad’s characterization is that none of his characters have names. They are all known for their jobs; First bed, new bed, first grade teacher and …

A Western example of this style of characterization is found in Federico Garcia Lorca’s play The Blood Wedding. This style is not for trivializing the characters, but for emphasizing their job or role in the story.

Get to know the author of the school principal better
Jalal Al-e-Ahmad is the author of the book The School Principal, who was born in 1302 AH. He was a translator and literary critic, and in the 1940s, he made a large contribution to the Iranian intellectual community. Al-Ahmad’s greatest attempt at writing was to awaken the icy society of the 1940s and 1950s.

In his book, he addressed all the social and political problems of society. Many writers have been influenced by Jalal Al-Ahmad. “Nader Ebrahimi” and “Gholam Hossein Saedi” were the writers who were most influenced by his writings.
Jalal Al-Ahmad is one of the most prolific contemporary writers in Iran. He has written his works with great mastery in various literary genres. The works of Jalal al-Ahmad are divided into four categories. Story, essay, documentary and translation. “Seeing and Visiting”, “From the Suffering We Are Taking”, “Many Women”, “School Principal” and “Noon and the Pen” are among his most famous collections of stories and novels. The “Westernization” collection can be considered as one of the most popular collections of Jalal essays.

Jalal was very interested in traveling because he believed that living in a city other than his homeland would make you see the world through the eyes of its inhabitants and even experience their hardships. He had traveled almost all of Iran; From Islam and Khalkhal, where he was born, to southern Iran, Yazd, Kerman and Khuzestan.
Jalal also traveled abroad to spread his views and writings. For example, he has traveled to the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and even occupied Palestine. His travel documents have been published, and his book “Journey to the Province of Azrael” is his travelogue to Palestine.
Jalal Al-Ahmad had a great contribution in introducing the world’s great writers to Iranian literature. Jalal’s travels to foreign countries introduced him to foreign writers, and the result of this acquaintance was the translation of important works such as “Earthly Stomachs” by “Andre Gide”, “Contaminated Groups” by “Jean-Paul Sartre”, “Alien” and “Misunderstanding” by ” “Albert Camus” and “The Gambler” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

He was the first to translate Camus’s work into Persian, translating a foreign book by Albercamo.

Al-Ahmad, by supporting Nimai’s poetry, and new poetry, was able to place this form of poetry in the Iranian literary community. He continued the path of “Sadegh Hedayat” and “Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh” in contemporary Iranian literature. Jalal completed his services by forming the Writers’ Association of Iran.
The influence of Jalal Al-Ahmad in contemporary Iranian literature has been to such an extent that in 2008 the first edition of the Jalal Al-Ahmad Literary Award was held. This is the most expensive literary award in Iran to date.

The influence of Jalal’s character is so wide that many poets have written poems describing him. Poets such as “Mahdi Akhavan Sales”, “Ahmad Shamloo”, “Hossein Manzavi” and “Simin Behbahani”.

Writing style of Jalal Al-Ahmad
Jalal al-Ahmad is considered the inventor and transformer of Persian prose. He wrote in plain, slang language that could be understood by all members of the community. Sometimes his slang writing caused readers to misunderstand reading time.

Majid Publications, which has reprinted Al-Ahmad’s collection of works, tried to correct Al-Ahmad’s spelling and typographical errors without changing his style to make it a little easier for readers to read. Jalal al-Ahmad uses proverbs in his writings and sometimes changes these proverbs according to his text. This way of using proverbs and allegories helps to capture the text and makes it easier to understand.

Jalal’s poetic descriptions are not ineffective in captivating the text. He narrates the story of the book in such a way that in addition to mental atmospheres, it is possible for the reader to touch the moments.
Jalal al-Ahmad has a style in his writings that is known in contemporary Iranian literature as “I write”. I mean writing that narrates the glory of his writings in the simplest way. The second meaning of “I write” is the narration of events and happenings in which the author himself is in a similar situation and therefore even has the right to comment on the events.

We read in a part of the school principal’s book
Everyone in the office smelled that my principal and I were probably so naive as to think that one day they would pass on to our school. That same day, I found out that one out of every three of them had eaten or paid half of his salary in advance, or had bought carpets and samovars in installments, and had a promissory note that they should deduct from his salary.

The previous accountant he had hit had also been torn to pieces. It was a straightforward science. They were looking for speculations; Cursed the previous accountant; They begged you not to ignore this month, and everyone was right and accountable, and the one who took his money earlier than everyone else’s voice was heard.

That day, the observance of etiquette made me so upset that I rubbed my body with fat for two or three days. But the bad thing was that it was my biggest figure on the school payroll. Just like the greatest sin in the book of Acts. I was paid twice as much as our new bed. I was so embarrassed to see the mortal figures of others’ rights that it was as if I had stolen their property. I walked for two whole hours and I had everyone in front of me. I may have made atonement.
In all those two hours, I did not even think that in the end, the other ones do not have a third of your history, and half of the pieces of paper that you have piped and you do not know in which post of your life!

I make these kinds of philosophies for myself now. All I felt that day was that when others were paid so little, the anonymous rations of the government could not hold you accountable. It was that I could not satisfy myself. As soon as I was alone and ten to fifteen times I signed, the cashier caught my eye and, with a world of apologies, put six hundred tomans of stolen money in the palm of my hand … dead salt!

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Additional information


جلال آل احمد


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