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Word Count: 1,058
The eponymous heroine in Muriel Sparks The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is an influential schoolteacher at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls 1930s Edinburgh Sparks plot charts the decline of Miss Brodies influence over a group of her favourite pupils known as her Set This decline parallels the growing independence of thought and intellectual maturing of Sandy Stranger a key member of the Set The narrative is developed from a decisive moment where Sandy is seen to react against the Brodie influence Within the Set Mary Macgregor is employed as a foil to the others Where they are graceful artistic and intelligent Mary is a silent lump a nobody whom everybody could blame p8 Nevertheless Mary is an integral member During a walk Sandy reacts against Set and Brodie thinking by wanting to be nice to Mary The sound of Miss Brodies presence just when it was on the tip of Sandys tongue to be nice to Mary Macgregor arrested the urge She perceived herself the absent Jenny the ever-blamed Mary Rose Eunice and Monica all in a frightening little moment in unified compliance to the destiny of Miss Brodie as if God had willed them to birth for that purpose p30 Prior to this point Sandy like the others in the Set is impressionable and happy to comply with the influence of her charismatic teacher The thought that she might act against accepted group behaviour highlights the fact that Sandy is beginning to think for herself She recognises that she and her fellow pupils are destined to think and act as Brodie dictates Sparks use of the word frightened alerts us to the fact that Sandy does not relish the prospect This decisive moment is the keystone in the decline of Miss Brodie From this moment on Spark depicts in Sandy a character who begins to react against her mentor firstly in thought and ultimately in action This
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