Themes and message

Respect

The theme of the short story “Mr. Mumsford” by Larry French is respect. 

Bibs is angry and frustrated by the fact that the others always call him by his nickname. He believes he is entitled to respect, especially since he has worked at the school for so long. The people who only address Bibs by his nickname dehumanize Bibs. Unconsciously, they see him as less than a person. They make him feel as though he is only a tool that serves a purpose. 

The lack of respect from the people at the school becomes so frustrating to Bibs that he decides to murder the principal, whom he sees as responsible. The end of the story shows that Bibs is right to wish to be respected and the principal did not notice there was a problem at school. Luckily, the principal...

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