Analysis of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodice by Muriel Spark Essay

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Analysis of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodice by Muriel Spark “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a novel about a teacher’s dedication to her pupils. It is also about loyalty and betrayal.” The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a novel about a teacher’s dedication to her pupils. It is also about loyalty and betrayal. The novel emphasises the effects of dedication, loyalty and betrayal within a small group of people and the way in which they are all intertwined. It forces the reader to look at particular aspects of these themes. When has dedication gone too far? To what extent is loyalty due to another? Can betrayal be justified? These themes are joined when a teacher’s dedication becomes interference in her student’s life forcing that…show more content…
Miss Brodie felt she did this for the best: “I’m putting old heads on new shoulders.” (P8) Miss Brodie had no children of her own and therefore focused her dedication towards her set of schoolgirls. Miss Brodie knew that she was past her ‘prime’, though she continually insisted that she be in her ‘prime’, and so in a sense she felt the need to ‘feed’ off the girls to gain her youth back. She wanted to vicariously relive her youth through her girls. Miss Brodie had a great influence over her set of girl and it was because of this that girls showed great loyalty to Miss Brodie, much to the dislike of the head mistress Miss Mackay who was desperate to find an excuse to dismiss Miss Brodie: “I am happy to see you are devoted to Miss Brodie. Your loyalty is due to the school rather than to any one individual.” (P66) Miss Brodie could be seen as an authoritarian fascist leader and her set as the loyal followers. This is emphasised through the continual mention of various dictators such as Hitler and Mussoline: “…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 was marching along.” (P31) The girls have such loyalty for

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