The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

1834 Words Jun 13th, 2011 8 Pages
Structure
Spark unfolds her plots not sequentially, but piece by piece, making extensive use of the narrative technique of prolepsis (flash-forward). For example, the reader is aware early on that Miss Brodie is betrayed, though sequentially this happens at the end of their school years. Gradually Spark reveals the betrayer, and lastly all the details surrounding the event are told. Spark develops her characters in this way, too: Joyce Emily is introduced right away as the girl who is rejected from the Brodie set. With this technique, the narrator of the story is omniscient and timeless, relating the entire plot all at once.

Spark creates deep characterizations which are realistic in their human imperfections. Hal Hager, in his commentary
…show more content…
Instead of giving a load of details about each person, the characters are limited to their most defining characteristic which become constantly repeated cliches.

As the story progresses it emerges that there are certain parallels between Jean Brodie's leadership of her girls, referred to as the Brodie set, and the dictators she so admires since she uses her charm and intellect to influence and manipulate her pupils. Throughout the novel, the narrator makes continual references to specific people, events, and places. This has many different effects on how the reader sees the story. The prime of Miss Jean Brodie is in a way based on a fascist way of thinking and teaching. Miss Jean Brodie is very fond of this method herself and the narrator also uses this method when telling the story. Miss Brodie always tells her set of girls what the correct way of thinking is and does not allow the students form their own opinions. "Who is the greatest Italian painter? 'Leonardo da Vinci, Miss Brodie.' 'That is incorrect. The answer is Giotto, he is my favorite.'" (Spark [1984]:10) She also leads the students to believe that