‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie unfolds several dimensions of the female function. Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s. we are presented with a supporter whom is a dramatic female function theoretical account in her domineering.
manipulating and sexual powers. powers which we see her usage to obtain her coveted programs for her ‘Brodie set. ’ the ‘creme de la creme. ’ We see Miss Brodie play a God like figure in the novel.
taking. instruction and enforcing her sentiments on them in hopes they will go like her.She strongly echoes Mussolini the Italian fascist. nd we besides see several contridictions in her character in footings of believing instruction is ‘to lead out’ but really transporting out actions to pull them in and ne’er allow them travel.
This literature subverts conventional thoughts of gender ; this all adult female narrative novel gives us great range for construing it as a text with sapphic thematic deductions. as her students are queerly obsessed with their glamorous school instructor. There are besides several texts referred to within the primary text which conveying out thoughts of adult female.This essay will research these thoughts and will talk the voice which Miss Brodie is seeking to state ; Miss Brodie.
or basically. the writer. Muriel Spark. Our supporter Miss Jean Brodie ( instantly pulling attending to ‘Miss ; ’ every clip her name is mentioned it promotes limelight on her single position ) is a repellant and almighty adult female of her clip.
This literature subverts a conventional thought of adult female because unlike many literature texts. the cardinal intent of adult female does non concentrate around them functioning work forces. but to be powerful and ruling.Miss Brodies’ features are swallowed by the readers as shocking and unusual ; repeating that the text itself and it’s thoughts of the important adult female are different and unusual.
The thought of adult female in this text is surely non guiltless or delicate. The glamorous yet posh school instructor mirrors a God like figure in the novel ; she quotes ; ‘O’ where shall I happen a virtuous adult female. for her monetary value is above rubies. ‘ ( The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Muriel Spark. 1961. The Penguin Group. USA.
page6 ) This Bibilcal mention from the book of proverbs identifies with Miss Brodie.Virtuous’ significance strength and efficiency is finally what makes her so great. and there is imagination in this quotation mark of her being a rare treasure. who dares to be different.
as she is worth more than rubies. The Bible is stating that the best adult female are those who do non populate by their accustomed place ; that the rare 1s who risk being unsafe and free ( ‘Safety does non come first’ page 10 ) are the finest. We can see a analogue between the facets of Miss Brodies’ character construction and the facets of the texts structure-both spell against the usual agencies of the position quota of adult female. tand out and do strong points.
Ruth Whittaker says in ‘The Faith and Fiction of Muriel Spark: ’Sandy sees the set as a organic structure with Miss Brodie for a caput. There is. as David Lodge points out. ‘ a scriptural analogue with the churches and the organic structure of Christ.
’ It shows an single planning of peoples’ lives. ’ It is an analysis of the enticement to play God in a universe where his absence laves a unsafe void…one of the ways in which Spark makes this progressively secular statement is by reassigning her attending from Gods’ modeling in the universe to mens’ designs for one another.As an analogy. she concentrates reflexively on the formal design which constitutes a novel.
her supporters being cognizant of their functions as operators of characters and events. and the storyteller noticing on the novels’ construction. ’ ( The Faith and Fiction of Muriel Spark. Ruth Whittaker.
The Macmillan Press limited company 1982. Hong Kong. page 106 ) Whittaker believes that Miss Brodie is trying to play God in a unsafe and controlling manner ; she is a feminist operator who uses her appeal in a awful mode ; ‘give me a miss at an waxy age. and she is mine for life.
( page9 )By taking in the misss as ‘hers’ she is subjecting them to go what her conventional thought of a adult female should be on her footings and what will profit her ; for illustration she uses Mary as a whipping boy and wants to utilize Rose to fufil her sexual phantasies which she can non transport out herself. Miss Brodie is besides compared to Joan of Arc ( a national heroine and frequenter saint of France ) : ‘Staring out of the window like Joan of Arc as she spoke. ‘ ( page 11 ) Like Joan of Arc. Miss Brodie is opinionated and ruling.
She defies the misss sentiments and drills into heir caputs that her sentiments are existent facts: ’Who is the greatest Italian painter? ”Leonardo district attorney Vinchi. Miss Brodie. ”That is wrong. The reply is Giotto.
he is my favourite. ( page 11. ) Like Joan of Arc. in many ways Miss Brodie is really masculine.
despite her beguiling visual aspect and learning the misss to be lady like. ( This merely echoes many of her contradictions ) Sandy. her chosen aureate student. observes: ’Some yearss it seemed to Sandy that Miss Brodies’ thorax was level.
no bumps at all. ut every bit consecutive as her dorsum. ’ ( page 11 )Sandy presents us with a masculine image of Miss Brodie here. and we see it non merely in her visual aspect but her personality excessively.
She mirrors Mussolini the Italian fascist. and we learn Miss Brodie admires him greatly. She uses words such as ‘intruders’ for school instructors disrupting a category. as if her ‘creme de la creme’ are chosen pacts.
or in a scriptural sense. her adherents. ‘The Brodie set did non for a minute uncertainty she would predominate. ‘ ( page9 ) ‘Prevail’ has intensions of a extremely important leader like Mussolini.
nd we see the word ‘assassinated’ used by the writer when speaking about declining to travel from the school she is learning at. She says ‘you are mine’ to the misss and even reverberations quotation marks which Mussolini himself said ; in a address he claimed ‘Who betrays. perishes. ’ ( Fascism in Italy.
Bolton King. London. Williams and Norgate limited company 1931 ) Miss Brodie tells her misss. ‘where there is no vision.
people perish. ’ which is similar to Mussolini in her beliefs of trueness and vision. Not merely does this quotation mark convey the political subjects within the novel. but it besides echoes the Bible.
nce more foregrounding her God like figure.However. it signifies her hypocritical side because fascism was in fact degrading to adult female and did non give adult female much intent or any peculiar strong function. Therefore by enforcing fascism thoughts on the misss we can see that although she is seeking to overthrow conventional thoughts of her gender.
she is really degrading her misss alternatively of giving them a opportunity to be tyrannizing. It is besides important in the manner that much of the ‘vision’ that we see is through the little eyes of Sandy. her being the 1 who betrays her. However.
Sandy is a creative activity of Miss Brodie as we will subsequently spread out on. and so finally it is Miss Brodie that perishes. in the manner that her misss travel against her and she is left in enigma as to who betrayed her. We see the male holding a dependence on a adult female and this shows this literature has subverted conventional thoughts of gender.
The male is usually seen as the authoritive figure yet in the fresh Mr Lowther is inferior to Miss Brodie: He ever looked at Miss Brodie for blessing before he touched anything or opened a closet Miss Brodie is seen in charge of her work forces. nd her set and so when she loses both.After Sandy betrays her. she is unable to hold a conforting life because all of her programs.
political and sexual. have been ruined. Patricia Duncker brings a really interesting position of the portayal of adult female in ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ; ’ the subject of sapphism. At first.
believing this may look odd. nevertheless when looking at the text more closely we can see ground to believe this.It is the character of Sandy who brings out this subject. Although we learn that Sandy is in the terminal ‘only interested in seting a halt to Miss Brodie.
we see her mirror her instructor in several ways and even learn of intimations of green-eyed monster with Teddy Loyds obession with Miss Brodie. She says ‘can’t you see she’s pathetic? ’ and when she learns of their kiss she becomes intrigued in a viscious and covetous mode. inquiring confidant inside informations of what Monica witnessed ; ”what portion of the room were they standing in? ”Were you inside or outside the room when you saw them? ” ‘ ”Was it a long and lingering snog? ” Sandy demanded. ( page 51 )She is covetous that she has non been chosen to take Miss Brodies topographic point as Teddy Loyds lover and that Rose has been designated the place.
and so she steals him from her and ends up going the art Masterss mistress. basically moving out Miss Brodies phantasy for her. She is besides ‘fasctinated by her method of doing forms with facts’ ( page 44 ) and. despite experiencing guilty when being mean to Mary.
she still does so becasue ‘she loves Miss Brodie. ’The conventional thought of the immature miss has been wholly subverted by the writer here ; Sandy is supposed to be a immature miss with an guiltless head. et she haunting over her instructors sex life and knows things like Brownies and misss ushers are non things she should tie in with. We can besides see Miss Brodie herself as a sapphic.
and her favorite student realises the extent of her megalomanice. ‘Sandy idea. the adult female is an unconscious tribade. ‘ ( page 120 ) Mis Brodie can non kip with Teddy Loyd.
so she send her misss to make so. She can non kip with her misss. so she sends them to Teddy Loyd. ( Speculating Muriel Spark.
Patricia Dunker. Palrave. New York. 2002.
page 69 )However Sandy is a creative activity of Miss Brodie. nd so what she does non gain harmonizing to Dunker. is her ain sapphism. We see several charactersicts of Sandy similar to Miss Brodie ; she realsies that Miss Brodie will halt at nil to fufill her desire for power.
However. Sandy is precisely the same ; she makes certain that Miss Brodie is fired by bewraying her to Miss Mackay. her lone involvement in seting a halt to her. Miss Brodie says several times throughout that there must be ‘a leaven in the lump’ ( mentioning to herself ) and so subsequently on says to Sandy ‘I am surprised at YOU Sandy.
I thought you were the leaven in the ball. ’ conveying the thought that Sandy is in fact a portion of Miss Brodie. Even when Sandy is a nun and has betrayed her. she is non comforted or relieved by the terminal to her instructor.
which suggests that she is and ever has been in love with her. ”She clutched the bars of the wicket as if she wanted to get away from the dim parlor beyond. ” ( page 43 ) Patricia Dunker says ‘schoolgirl narratives set in womanonly establishments lend themselves to sapphic ambigutities and to the extension of conventional gender functions for misss.In women-only narrations the usual men’s functions of adventurer.
adventurer. savior. are shared out among the misss. Womans are permittted to hold escapades and inquire awful inquiries.
They are besides permitted to cognize things. ” ( Speculating Muriel Spark. Patricia Dunker. Palgrave.
New York. 2002. page 68 ) This thought of the female taking on parts of what normally a male function would be puts an interesting return on the novel in footings of the usual conventional thoughts of adult female.The adult female does non merely take on a feminine function.
or illustration ‘learning of the advantages to the tegument of cleansing pick and enchantress Pomaderris apetala over honorable soap and water’ but besides the conventional thoughts of the male ; of taking control. of playing God like figures. and of sexual phantasies and cognition. A 3rd facet which is relevent to research when looking at the conventional thoughts of adult female is one of the outside texts mentioned frequently within the text itself ; ‘The Lady Of Shalott.
’ Miss Brodie receits stanzas of this verse form to her category throughout the novel: ’She left the web. she left the loom.She made three gaits thro’ the room. She saw the water-lily bloom.
She saw the helmet and the plume. She look’d down to Camelot. ’ ( page 7 ) This verse form exemplifies the unattanible adult female. and trades with subjects of tragic love.
Artists such as Rosetti ( who Miss Brodie besides references ) emphasised tragic facets of the Ladys’ love and her topographic point as an object of desire.This portion of the verse form is from the 3rd subdivision of the verse form. here the lady sees the universe straight. and hence must decease.
The image of blossoming water-lily. the first bite of life the lady straight gazes upon out her window. may stand for the Lady herself. interacting with the natural universe for the first clip.
However. the curst lady can non be as a portion of this life. The Ladys minute of sexual dare in the verse form is besides the minute f her ruin.The fact that Miss Brodie quotes this interlinks with her positions that a adult female should be make bolding and be exposed to her gender.
nd by reading this to the misss in category conveys that she wishes to enforce this thought on her misss. Thus we are presented with a conventional thought of the free. independent. make bolding adult female who is allowed to cognize things outwith the limitations of Society ( in the book society is represented by the Marcia Blaine School for misss ) and that they should stand virtous and dominating.
This text subverts the conventional thoughts of gender as we are presented with immature misss who know of things they shouldn’t at their guiltless age.We besides see a powerful adult female figure alternatively of it being the male. Miss Brodie is in control of all the males in the book and even mirrors Mussolini. We see a adult female who talks about work forces but is unconsciously a sapphic in love with her misss.
and as she is able to make her misss. we see them excessively have facets of sapphism within them. In the text we have a clear apprehension of the type of adult female the writer is seeking to make and it is surely a sway from the ‘norm. ’