The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie kindle · 150 pages

kindle The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie kindle · 150 pages Ñ At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh Scotland teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably and outspokenly in her prime She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her studeAt the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh Scotland teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably and outspokenly in her prime She is passi After reviewing several of Muriel Spark's less well known books recently I'm now attempting to review the one that made her famous I imagined that it would be the easiest to write about being the one with the most interesting structure and the least absurd plot but no the opposite has been the case In fact I've had to scrap the review I wrote the other day because for all its sensible words it completely missed the point of the book I knew what the point was but I somehow got sidetracked due to the cunning of the main character and ended up focusing my review entirely on Miss Brodie But I hear you say Miss Jean Brodie is the main characterWell she gets top billing on the front cover and in readers' minds but that's only because the main character allows her to The main character is pulling all the strings in this book even the reader's Let's be clear you say There's a third person narrator in this book and therefore the narrator is the one who pulls the strings The narratorauthor gives the characters their roles and controls their fates That's just how it isThe way I see it the main character and the narrator are one and the same person Miss Sandy Stranger aged ten when we first meet her Of course Sandy lets us think there's a narrator but in reality the entire story is being told by Sandy herself It's a kind of double act If you look closely you'll see that there isn't a single episode she couldn't have witnessed or heard about And there's a clue about her 'authorship' of the story early in the book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace That's the title of a book that we are told Sandy will write in later life It's ostensibly a psychology textbook about the perception of moral issues and how to act on them but here's the thing I believe that Sandy's 'Transfiguration' book is really this book the 'Miss Jean Brodie' book It's a very economical method you see this double act just as in the case of Teddy Lloyd's portraits of the Brodie set which simultaneously looked like the sitter and also like Miss Brodie Two portraits for one two books for one Why not One day you will go too far I hear you say But wait a moment Isn't the crux of 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' the perception of a moral issue and the decision to act on itWell of course you say everyone knows that whether they've read the book or seen the film Everyone knows about Miss Brodie's incitement of her pupils towards fascism and her subseuent enforced retirement But what about the 'Transfiguration of the Commonplace' How do you make that fit with your crazy theory Take a moment to consider what Sandy tells us about herself as a child Sandy was never bored but she had to lead a double life of her own in order never to be bored Her double life as I see it involved the constant transfiguration of the commonplace You see Sandy's vision of everybody and everything is very acute in spite of the fact that she has 'tiny' eyes But Sandy proves time and time again that her 'tiny' eyes are capable of transforming even the most humdrum aspects of the world into something out of the ordinary Everything she can transfigure gets transfigured As she reads 'The Lady of Shalott' aloud in the classroom Sandy is transformed into the Lady's confidante and the classroom into CamelotA walk with her classmates through the reeking network of Edinburgh slums becomes a breath taking adventure in the Highlands with Alan Breck the hero of 'Kidnapped'A line of unemployed men ueuing to enter a dole office becomes a dragon's body unslayableMiss Brodie herself her brown head held high becomes Joan of Arc On another day her nose arched and proud she is Sybil Thorndyke Even the way the Brodie set wore their school hats was a transformation of the ordinary when narrated by Sandy But the opposite can also happen in Sandy's world as when the Mona Lisa with her famous smile becomes simply a woman with her lower jaw swollen from a visit to the dentist And Miss Jean Brodie eventually becomes a rather tiresome woman well past her primeHowever the most remarkable example of transfiguration concerns a piece of tinned pineapple Here we are verging on transubstantiation To Sandy the unfamiliar pineapple had the authentic taste and appearance of happiness and she focussed her small eyes closely on the pale gold cubes before she scooped them up in her spoon and she thought the sharp taste on her tongue was that of a special happiness which was nothing to do with eatingWell you say all that is in the text of course and a reader can make whatever patterns out of the facts she chooses but none of it proves that Sandy is the narrator of this book Hmm One of Sandy's favourite transformations involves daydreaming that she is plain Jane Eyre having enigmatic conversations with romantic moody Mr RochesterSoYou might remember that in this book Sandy and the very romantic and moody Mr Lloyd have some enigmatic conversations in which he teases her about not being beautiful Eventually however they become lovers The interesting thing about Mr Lloyd and which makes me think Sandy invented him is that he only has one arm After all by the time Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester eventually became lovers he too had only one arm Now you really have gone too far This entire review is completely absurdIs it really Well perhaps I have taken things to a bit of an extreme Pity I deleted all those sensible words I wrote about Miss Brodie the other day

Muriel Spark í The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie reader

Onate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her students Determined to instill in them independenc “ Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life” We remember our best and worst teachers all our lives The ones who moulded us however much we resisted I particularly remember the English teacher who continued to take an active interest in me after I dropped it as a subject because I wanted to read purely for pleasure I was thrilled to meet her again a few years ago The geography teachers who fostered a gentle rivalry among their Oxbridge hopefuls And the house mistresses who knew when to turn a blind eye to midnight feasts and sneaking out But I also remember some cruel PE teachers and an exceedingly boring and ineffective history teacher And then there was the English and drama teacher who was best and worst when sober she was original irreverent and inspirational but when she was drunk she was intimidating irascible and ineffective and our best bet was to persuade her to read Just William aloud until the bell went she taught ages 11 14 Where does Miss Brodie fit in this Venn diagram She was certainly memorable but I was surprised to find myself asking if she was one of the best or worst teachers I’d somehow never read this famous 1961 novella set in an Edinburgh private school in the 1930s nor seen the film starring Dame Maggie SmithThe first two thirds were a delightful portrayal of the dedicated spiky unconventional feminist Miss Brodie’s grooming of her crème de la crème six girls in the book four in the film to be cultured and to grasp all the opportunities life could offer especially when they reach their Prime whenever that may be The final third suggested a different sort of groomingFlash forwards are not spoilersThe story mainly covers the girls’ last two years in the junior school aged 10 12 in Miss Brodie’s class through the senior school which they leave around age 17 having remained in constant contact with her Right from the start there are freuent mentions of what the future holds especially what will be each girl’s “fame”Opening minds“ To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul”Miss Brodie takes the girls to art galleries museums and to see the poorer areas of their city“ It was Sandy’s first experience of a foreign country which intimates itself by its new smells and shapes and its new poor”Each Saturday she invites them to tea She tells them about her fiancé who died in the Great War her travels her admiration for Mussolini her opinions of the other teachers and besidesTriangle or polygonRomantic pre pubescent girls fascinated by adult relationships notice Miss Brodie’s fondness for the two male teachers apparently reciprocated and Sandy and Jenny enjoy writing imagined love letters“ If I am in a certain condition I shall place the infant in the care of a worthy shepherd and his wife and we can discuss it calmly as platonic acuaintances I may permit misconduct to occur again from time to time as an outlet because I am in my Prime”Sweet harmless and amusing But later things get complicated as Miss Brodie takes Sandy and Rose deeper into her confidence She sees them as useful opposites one with insight but no instinct and the other with instinct but no insight She uses them as puppets pawns substitutes Image Film poster SourceBetrayal It's only possible to betray where loyalty is dueSaid by a nun towards the endThis is a Big Theme oft mentioned Miss Brodie goes to different protestant denominations every Sunday but was not in any doubt that God was on her side whatever her course and so she experienced no difficulty or sense of hypocrisy in worship” when she did not abide by the accepted rules of the church She is “driven by an excessive lack of guilt” and thinks Catholicism is mere superstition However Biblical betrayal and sectarian differences are secondary Miss Brodie’s “ advanced and seditious” methods are not appreciated in the genteel girls’ school and she’s aware the headmistress wants an excuse to force her out She cultivates her Brodie Set to take her side and report to her when that’s been necessary emphasising that her “leading out” approach is the opposite of putting her ideas in their heads We also know from early on and repeatedly thereafter that someone will betray her We assume it’s one of the six There’s another important betrayal that’s never mentioned outright Should a teacher put her pupils in such a position in the first place Regardless Miss Brodie creates far uestionable situations with damaging outcomes for three girls including one not in Miss Brodie’s set but acting under her influence Back to my Venn diagram Miss Brodie is unarguably memorable and she was good in the sense of effective but she was bad as she is portrayed here in the wider moral sense But maybe the unknown omniscient narrator seeks to justify themselves as Miss Brodie didPerhaps a Catholic half believes in Calvinistic predestinationMaybe the narrator is prone to imaginative flights of fancy as Sandy and Jenny wereMaybe the narrator is SandyImage Broken trust Sourceuotes• “Vastly informed on a lot of subjects irrelevant to the authorised curriculum”• “The unfamiliar pineapple had the authentic taste and appearance of happiness”• “Goodness Truth and Beauty come first”• “Art is greater than science Art and religion first; then philosophy; lastly science”• “Teachers who had stalked past Miss Brodie saying ‘good morning’ with predestination in their smiles”• “Dazzled by their new subjects until the languages of physics and chemistry algebra and geometry had lost their elemental strangeness and become hard work”• “He looked at her with love and she looked at him severely and possessively”• “She looked with the near blackmailing insolence of her knowledge”• “Everyone likes to visit a nun it provides a spiritual sensation”

ePub Ý The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie í Muriel Spark

The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieE passion and ambition Miss Brodie advises them Safety does not come first Goodness Truth and Beauty come first Follow me And they do but one of them will betray h Sex art and politics Three areas of life where idealism can get stuck in and have a field day Miss Brodie has made a vocation of applying gold glitter to her preferences in life and seeks with single minded righteousness to create a likeness of herself in her pupils But in this novel Muriel Spark shows us she's not a great fan of idealism In fact she mercilessly ridicules it as a philosophical blueprint The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie sets itself up as a moral fable Except it refuses to answer any of the moral uestions it throws up in any pat convenient fashion We have a classroom where there are two guiding lights the ostensibly inspiring and progressive Miss Brodie the teacher and the ostensibly repressive mediocre headmistress Miss Mackay At face value it would appear a straightforward struggle between an admirable advocate of free thought and a life sapping advocate of rote learning No hesitation here on who one is going to side with But Spark throws one firecracker after another into the mix Miss Brodie becomes and morally uestionable not least for her cheap reactionary enthusiasm for fascism The headmistress whatever faults she might have is not a supporter of Mussolini and Hitler strong men as Brodie calls them Miss Mackay articulates in her mediocre cerebration the fraught moral ambivalence fizzing throughout this novel when she tells one of her pupils You are very fortunate in Miss Brodie I could wish your arithmetic papers were better I am always impressed by Miss Brodie's girls in one way or another You will have to work at ordinary humble subjects for the ualifying examination Miss Brodie is giving you an excellent preparation for the senior school Culture cannot compensate for lack of hard knowledge I am happy to see you are devoted to Miss Brodie Your loyalty is due to the school rather than to any one individual The generous inspiring teacher awakening the sensibilities of her pupils has become a cliché of unalloyed virtue in our culture But Spark refuses to go down this beaten path She takes us into the woods In fact it's highly uestionable whether Miss Brodie's influence has any positive repercussions on any of her girls in later life I loved it