Anyway, the Doctor is being bumped off and while I am waiting for the inevitable to happen I was thinking about the ending of novels, and in particular how we deal with the ending of a novel in lessons. I teach and have taught lots of novels and plays and the ending is always an interesting thing to concentrate on in lessons. It is the culmination of everything you have done. It is the showstopper. It is the climax. It is a make or break moment. You often love or hate a book, film or novel based on the ending. We always hear: ‘It was a great film apart from the ending.’ Or: ‘Wow- what an ending. I can’t possibly say why, but you have to watch it for the ending’. In fact, I have become one of those sad people that are the last to leave a cinema, because somewhere in the credits there will be another ending tagged on that is ‘like amazing’.
For an English teacher, the ending has become a tactical nightmare. My opening talk on ‘Of Mice and Men’ is like the opening of ‘The Fight Club’: