Literapedia Book Notes for

Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton


Characters

  • Chips/Mr. Chips/Mr. Chippings (ch 1)— the main character, a former professor at Brookfield/
  • Mrs. Wicketts (ch 1)— the landlady.
  • Dr. Merivale (ch 1)— Mr. Chips's doctor.
  • Wetherby (ch 1)— the Head of Brookfield, who is hired by Mr. Chips.
  • Major Collingwood (ch 3)— a student.
  • Rowden (ch 4)— a colleague of Mr. Chips.
  • Katherine Bridges/Kathie (ch 4)— Mr. Chips's wife.
  • Gribble (ch 6)— the former school butler.
  • Rushton (ch 7)— a student.
  • Ogilvie (ch 7)— a student.
  • Dunster (ch 7)— a student.
  • Faulkner (ch 8)— a student.
  • Naylor (ch 9)— a student.
  • Lloyd George/L.G. (ch 9)— a student.
  • Cricklade (ch 10)— a student.
  • Meldrum (ch 10)— the successor of Wetherby.
  • Ralston (ch 10)— the successor of Meldrum.
  • Mr. Jones (ch 10)— the striker.
  • Grayson (ch 10)— a student whose father was rescued on the Titanic.
  • Chatteris (ch 12)— the successor of Ralston.
  • Blades (ch 13)— the Head of School House.
  • Herr Staefel (ch 12)— the German master at Brookfield, allows Mr. Chips to lodge with him.
  • Blades (ch 13)— replaced by Ralston as Head.
  • Max Staefiel (ch 14)— a student who was killed in combat.
  • Maynard (ch 15)— a student.
  • Gregson (ch 16)— a student.
  • Linford (ch 17)— the new student who seeks advice from Mr. Chips.
  • Cartwright (ch 18)— the successor of Chatteris.

Chapter Summaries

  1. Description of the life of Mr. Chips from his boyhood to the beginning of his teaching career at Brookfield, a private boys school.
  2. Mr. Chips reminisces teaching and the effect of the school on his life.
  3. Description of how Mr. Chips invites the new students at the boarding school for tea at the start of each year. Everyone presumes Mr. Chips is a bachelor and was never married, which disturbs him.
  4. Mr. Chips becomes the housemaster. While on a trip to the Lake District, Chips meets Katherine by chance after Rowden leaves him. Mr. Chips and Katherine court and marry.
  5. Katherine is the first to call him by "Mr. Chips" the night before they wed.
  6. Mr. Chips develops a new sense of personality after his marriage and becomes more popular. Katherine convinces him to organize a soccer game against East End.
  7. Katherine advises Mr. Chips on punishing students. He tries to sort out his memories and wants to write a book about his life at Brookfield.
  8. Mr. Chips receives an unusual amount of mail. As he opens the envelopes, he discovers they are all blank. The mail was sent by students as an April Fool's Day joke. Katherine dies during childbirth the same day.
  9. Mr. Chips returns to his mellow bachelor life and has aged much since Katherine's death.
  10. Meldrum dies from pneumonia. Therefore, Mr. Chips steps in as the Acting Head of Brookfield. Ralston becomes the Head. King Edward dies. Mr. Chips takes the boys to meet Mr. Jones.
  11. Ralston asks Mr. Chips if he has ever considered retiring and accuses him of being too old-fashioned. Mr. Chips's former students rally behind him and request that he stay.
  12. Ralston resigns to "better himself" and is replaced by Chatteris. Chips gets bronchitis and resigns after forty-two years of teaching. He gives a well received and funny farewell speech.
  13. World War I begins. Chatteris asks Mr. Chips to return to Brookfield.
  14. Mr. Chips returns to the school and feels like he is needed for the first time in his life. He becomes Acting Head when Chatteris dies. He agrees to maintain this position as long as his not officially appointed as Head. He becomes a kinder, more gentle person.
  15. Mr. Chips continues teaching despite the war occuring outside the school. World War I ends. Mr. Chips resigns again without fanfare at his request.
  16. Fifteen years later, Mr. Chips assesses how the world and Brookfield have changed. He does not leave his home anymore for fear of becoming sick and fatigued. He creates his will.
  17. Mr. Chips thinks about all the things he has done and accomplished in his life. He also thinks of the things he never will have the chance to do in his final years. He talks with Linford who says "Good-bye, Mr. Chips."
  18. Mrs. Wickett finds Mr. Chips on the floor after he had fainted. Mr. Chips awakes to find himself in bed tired and weak. He hears Cartwright say that he must have lived a lonely life. On the verge of death, Mr. Chips wakes long enough to say that his life was filled with many remarkable boys who meant as much to him as any child he would have had of his own. He dies naming all the students he ever had.

Student Contributors


Laura Kuthy, '08