The Narrative Structure of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Essay by juA-, November 2002

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Examine the structure of the novel, particularly the time scheme.

focus on three aspects of the narration:

>The Third Person Narrator

>The Time Scheme

>The Use of Repetition

>Back to the Setting Section

Muriel Spark likes to use an omniscient third person narrator, when she writes her books, as a way for the reader to experience all the character's thoughts and views. The narrator in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" acts as a sort of fly on the wall, letting the reader observe the different situations surrounding each individual character. As the novel proceeds, the reader can then observe the different views of Miss Jean Brodie by every girl from the set. To tell the story of Miss Jean Brodie's prime the reader simply cannot take a point of view from one source because each girl from the set was affected in a different way. By collecting all the different point of views the reader can analyze all the different aspects of Miss Brodie's character.

Muriel Spark also uses a similar brainwashing technique used by Miss Brodie. Spark can give the reader any opinion she wishes them to believe. The narrator tells the story in such a way that all the characters' opinions on Miss Brodie are exposed. Throughout the story, the narrator bases and manipulates our ideas about the characters. Despite the fact that Miss Brodie might have good intentions, the reader is more compelled to dislike her because of her fascist teaching methods and actions. The narrator proves this by focusing on certain characters, the ones who were most influenced by Miss Brodie's prime. Such examples are Mary MacGregor's death which led the reader to believe that she really was as stupid as Miss Brodie predicted. Another is the fact that Rose Stanley was said to be...