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VARIOUS TEXTS: From: THE PRIME OF MISS BRODIE

It 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 informant on the affair. It was to this end that Rose and Sandy had been chosen as the creme de la creme. 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 her joy deriving from the preparation, and moreover, even if these plans were as clear to her own mind as they were to Sandy's, the girls were too young. All the same, by the time the girls were sixteen Miss Brodie was saying to her set at large: `Sandy will make an excellent Secret Service agent, a great spy'; and to Sandy alone she had started saying `Rose will be a great lover. She is above the common moral code, it does not apply to her. This is a fact which it is not expedient for anyone to hear about who is not endowed with insight.'

For over a year Sandy entered into the spirit of this plan, for she visited the Lloyds' frequently, and was able to report to Miss Brodie how things were going with the portraits of Rose which so resembled Miss Brodie.

`Rose,' said Miss Brodie, `is like a heroine from a novel by D. H. Lawrence. She has got instinct.'
But in fact the art master's interest in Rose was simply a professional one, she was a good model; Rose had an instinct to be satisfied with this role, and in the event* it was Sandy who slept with Teddy Lloyd and Rose who carried back the information.

It was some time before these things came to pass, and meanwhile Miss Brodie was neglecting Mr Lowther at Cramond and spending as much time as possible with Rose and Sandy discussing art, and then the question of sitting for an artist, and Rose's future as a model, and the necessity for Rose to realize the power she had within her, it was a gift and she an exception to all the rules, she was the exception that proved the rule. Miss Brodie was too cautious to be more precise and Rose only half-guessed at Miss Brodie's meaning, for she was at this time, as Sandy knew, following her instinct and becoming famous for sex among the schoolboys who stood awkwardly* with their bicycles at a safe distance from the school gates. Rose was greatly popular with these boys, which was the only reason why she was famed for sex, although she did not really talk about sex, far less indulge it. She did everything by instinct, she even listened to Miss Brodie as if she agreed with every word.

`When you are seventeen or eighteen, Rose, you will come to the moment of your great fulfilment.'
`Yes, honestly I think so, Miss Brodie.'
Teddy Lloyd's passion for Jean Brodie was greatly in evidence in all the portraits he did of the various members of the Brodie set. He did them in a group during one summer term, wearing their panama hats each in a different way, each hat adorning, in a magical transfiguration*, a different Jean Brodie under the forms of Rose, Sandy, Jenny, Mary, Monica and Eunice. But mostly it was Rose, because she was instinctively a good model and Teddy Lloyd paid her five shillings a sitting, which Rose found useful, being addicted to the cinema. Sandy felt warmly towards Miss Brodie at those times when she saw how she was misled in her idea of Rose. It was then that Miss Brodie looked beautiful and fragile, just as dark heavy Edinburgh itself could suddenly be changed into a floating city when the light was a special pearly white and fell upon one of the gracefully fashioned streets. In the same way Miss Brodie's masterful features became clear and sweet to Sandy when viewed in the curious light of the woman's folly*, and she never felt more affection for her in her later years than when she thought upon Miss Brodie as silly.
716 words


Annotations:
* whiff of sulphur - Hauch von Schwefel
* in the event - im Falle
* awkwardly - unbeholfen
* transfiguration - Wandlung, Verklärung
* folly - Torheit, Verrücktheit


Assignment:
1. What does Miss Brodie understand by Rose having 'instinct' and Sandy having 'insight'?
2. Why does Miss Brodie want Rose to be the art teacher's lover?
3. Why do all the portraits which Teddy Lloyd paint of the Brodie's girls resemble Miss Brodie herself?
4. Why does Sandy eventually feel more affection for Miss Brodie when she looks upon her as silly?
5. In view of Miss Brodie's teaching concept, do you think that a teacher should be given the freedom as to teach a selected group of pupils in a 'special way'?



amazon.de The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
by
Muriel Spark
amazon.de




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