I have no doubt Miss Mackay wishes to question my methods of instruction. It has happened before. It will happen again. Meanwhile, I follow my principles of education and give of my best in my prime. The word “education” comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in a pupil’s soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education, I call it intrusion, from the Latin root prefix in meaning in and the stem trudo, I thrust.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

And so the headstrong Miss Brodie tutors her chosen clan of girls in accordance with her own unique philosophy. From her they learn not only of art and history, but also of secret love affairs and of politics.

I enjoyed observing how the Brodie set learn, grow, change and gradually drift off along their own chosen paths, however I do think Muriel Spark could have written a lot more about some of the incidents touched upon and also filled out some of the other characters more fully. When I had finished the novel it almost felt as though I must have been reading an abridged version of something.

Advertisements