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FREE ⚣ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ⛓ 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 Students Determined To Instill In Them Independence, 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 Her Who is the greatest Italian painterLeonardo da Vinci, Miss Brodie That is incorrect The answer is Giotto, he is my favourite. Jean Brodie Oh Miss Jean Brodie She may be one of my new favourite heroines in literature I mean she s like up there with Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary, she s that good I think there were other characters in this novel Idk I don t care It s all about Jean I love Jean Jean Jean Hmmm I m starting to think I liked her characterthan the book itself Oh well I d recommend this just so you can read probably one of the greatest characters in 20th Century fiction. My initial reaction is, take Dead Poets Society, make the students young women instead of young men, replace the character played by Robin Williams with Iago and poof you have this novel. The prime of Miss Jean Brodietakes us back to the Edinburgh of the thirties School mistress Miss Jean Brodie has selected six of her students to take as confidants These girls will be the recipients of Miss Brodie s unorthodox education that includes fictionalized versions of her love affairs magnified by her need to prolong her prime as much as possible The resulting story revolves around the complex, humoristic and even a bit extravagant relationship that Miss Brodie develops with her girls, who grow up under the shadow of their teacher s frustrations and contradictions quite liberal in certain areas, Miss Brodie s radical conservatism shows in her admiration for fascist ideals Caught in the swirling emotions of her overly dramatized romances, Miss Brodie underestimates the powerful influence she has over the lives of these impressionable young women that will lead one of them to betray her trust.Besides the not so original plot, what resultedfascinating to me is the technique through which Muriel Spark unfolds the personalities and the outcome of the characters Many of the transcendental events are revealed in flash forwards that recur in a pattern of descriptive attributes of the already adult women, so the reader knows from the beginning what the future will have in store for the Brodie set where will Rose s magnetic sexuality lead her Or Mary Macgregor s clumsiness Or Jenny s natural beauty Nevertheless, the life experiences of these girls are irrelevant to the escalating dramatic tension of the narrative, where a somewhat cruel humor takes the stage and the eccentricity of Miss Brodie, whose emotions remain hidden from the reader and are only glimpsed through the girls perspectives, boosts to create a memorably ignoble character whose passion for life exceeds her manipulative nature In the end, Miss Brodie s blessing turns into her curse she is condemned to live her life through her young surrogates and loses control of her own destiny.Quite a peculiar little book Sharp, incisive and vibrant, it can easily deceive because of its apparent lightness and slightly comical undertone, but the somewhat veiled, subversive facet of Spark s artistry won t leave any reader indifferent, for Miss Brodie s dilemmas and dirty secrets are, after all, our own. I know I ve had this happen to me before, be surprised by a book Let me explain As I started reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I imagine I would like it Yes, I did However, as I finished Muriel Spark s novel my sentiments were much stronger I knew that I had to read it again sometime soon That has happened to me before, and don t get me wrong, there have been many books that had the same impact on me Like The Lover, Madame Bovary and Atonement, just to mention three of my favorite books However, I just did not expect to feel it so strongly here.There is a reason for that This is a book about our perceptions of ourselves and of the people around us, and it is flawlessly done Spark s narrative is crisply and wryly witty, subtly ironic in its toneWould that I had been given charge of you girls when you were seven I sometimes fear it s too late, now If you had been mine when you were seven you would have been the cr me de la cr me Sandy, come and read some stanzas and let us hear your vowel sounds It s a fast and fun read, very scintillating and brilliantly structured Spark has a mastery over her material, which few writers that I know have She moves from time frame to time frame or from reality to imaginative fantasy, frequently without any transition.The plot concerns the unconventional schoolteacher, Miss Jean Brodie, and tells how she seeks to influence a chosen group of schoolgirls the so called Brodie Set They are introduced to us as six pre adolescent girls and are charming but flawed Their fates are something that you end caring for deeply.When Spark introduces one of her set, we are first exposed to her styleBack and forth along the corridors ran Mary Macgregor, through the thickening smoke She ran one way then, turning, the other way and at either end the blast furnace of the fire met her She heard no screams, for the roar of the fire drowned the screams, she gave no scream, for the smoke was choking her But at the beginning of the nineteen thirties, when Mary Macgregor was ten, there she was sitting blankly among Miss Brodie s pupils Who has spilled ink on the floor was it you, Mary As she plays with her narrative, going forward and backward in time, and going into the fanciful daydreams of the girls particularly in the figure of Miss Brodie s most promising student, Sandy the story reads so easily that it could delude the reader to think it was effortlessly done This is one of the few books I ve read where it seems entirely blatant that the author is in complete control of every aspect of her narrative She writes with a richness that injects life into her work The author is somehow able to pack a vast number of well cultivated characters and expand into their lives and dreams into this 150 page book This seems to be the perfect description of Miss Jean BrodieShe was not in any doubt, she let everyone know she was in no doubt, that God was on her side whatever her course, and so she experienced no difficulty or sense of hypocrisy in worship while at the same time she went to bed with the singing master Just as an excessive sense of guilt can drive people to excessive action, so was Miss Brodie driven to it by an excessive lack of guilt Much of the novel is relayed through the eyes of Sandy, who becomes a confidante of the teacher Miss Brodie virtually wages war on the school as the beleaguered headmistress, Miss Mackay attempts to reign in her disturbing influence on the girls and find a way to force the teacher to resign It is true that Miss Brodie tends to tell the girls about her ideas and love affairs, rather than drilling them with their lessons, but they are still hercreme de la creme You know, Sandy said, these are supposed to be the happiest days of our lives Yes, they are always saying that, Jenny said They say, make the most of your schooldays because you never know what lies ahead of you Miss Brodie says prime is best, Sandy said Yes, but she never got married like our mothers and fathers They don t have primes, said Sandy They have sexual intercourse, Jenny said For me, the book is aboutthan just a bunch of schoolgirls growing up It s about passion, and friendship, superficial and otherwise, and the disappointment of seeing your idols as mere human beings with their constant need to belong that is such a normal feeling in us all Despite all critic that we can lay at Miss Brodie for her meddling with her pupils, there is no doubt that they idolized her and enjoyed being in her careMary MacGregor, although she lived into her twenty fourth year, never quite realised that Jean Brodie s confidences were not shared with the rest of the staff and that her love story was given out only to the pupils On one occasion of real misery when her first and last boy friend, a corporal whom she had known for two weeks, deserted her by failing to turn up at an appointed place and failing to come near her again she thought back to see if she had ever been happy in her life it occurred to her then that the first years with Miss Brodie, sitting listening to all those stories and opinions which had nothing to do with the ordinary world, had been the happiest time of her life What delighted me was Spark s use of irony, humor, and finely controlled development The author shines at character sketches, not only of Miss Brodie and her set, but also gives us considerable portraits of the sexy one armed art teacher, the shy music teacher, and even the limited but funny and rather inept and awkward headmistress Spark catches accurately the malleable, romantic, changing perceptions of her supposedly sheltered girls as they grow up.Brodie s is a tight knit group, but, inevitably, one of her charges begins to see the dangers of Brodie s self centered agenda, ending up betraying her In the narrative, we read how Miss Brodie defines her pupils, Sandy, she calls insightful Others are regarded as knowledgeable about sex or even stupid Thus, we start to see how the teacher becomes a despot We know for a fact that mentors, as any human being, are not always what they seem Miss Brodie seems herself to reveal aspects of adolescent rebellion And she revels in her influence, while her prot g s are forced to mature too quickly Miss Brodie admits openly how the admiration of her impressionable set is important to herGive me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life Miss Brodie in her prime becomes an idealized and nurturing teacher for certain selected students She repeatedly tells the girls their destinies as she sees them and not always nicely she goes to the extreme of encouraging one of them to have an affair with a married man, exactly the art teacher whom Miss Brodie seems to loveIt was plain that Miss Brodie wanted Rose with her instinct to start preparing to be Teddy Lloyd s lover and Sandy with her insight to act as an informant on the affair It was to this end that Rose and Sandy had been chosen as the cr me de la cr me There was a whiff of sulphur about the idea which fascinated Sandy in her present mind After all, it was only an idea And there was no pressing hurry in the matter, for Miss Brodie liked to take her leisure over the unfolding of her plans, most of the joy deriving from the preparation, At the same time, her humanity and flaws are all too clear she idealizes Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini The novel is set in the cultural backdrop of 1930 s Edinburgh, and its puritanical environment The wider background also appears in the Spanish civil war and the rise of fascism, which Miss Brodie fiercely and naively admires However, this has to be viewed in its historical context, since fascist sympathies were fairly common in Britain before the war.The fascisti are very present for the Brodie setIt occured to Sandy that the Brodie set was Miss Brodie s fascisti, not to the naked eye, marching along, but all knit together for her need and in another way, marching along That was all right, but it seemed, too, that Miss Brodie s disapproval of the Girl Guides had jealousy in it, there was an inconsistency, a fault Perhaps the Guides were too much a rival fascisti, and Miss Brodie could not bear it Sandy thought she might see about joining the Brownies Then the group fright seized her again, and it was necessary to put the idea aside, because she loved Miss Brodie Spark s vivid characterizations becomes an incantation like repetition of certain phrases likecreme de la cremeorin my primeDespite the fact that Miss Brodie does not make up for a good role model or is far from being the ideal mentor for young girls, I could not help but be enthralled by her And her imperfections are blatant However, we can recognize several people we know in Miss Brodie Starting with her disregard and even disrespect for others, who can say never to have sinned so Here we have to be honest and include ourselves since everybody shares a little of Miss Brodie s idiosyncrasies For she is strong willed and determined, intelligent and independent, and yet she is vulnerable because she wants so desperately to be revered by her girls and be loved by the men in her otherwise lonely life The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a book that deserves to be read by everyone Highly recommended