The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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Mary Macgregor Character Analysis

Though she is a member of the Brodie set, Mary is considered by everyone at Blaine, from Miss Lockhart to Miss Brodie herself, to be rather stupid and disagreeable. She is Miss Brodie’s scapegoat, the girl whom she blames everything on, and even Sandy treats her condescendingly and cruelly. Nonetheless, Mary remembers her years as a member of the Brodie set to be the happiest in her life. She dies at the age of twenty-four in a hotel fire.
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Mary Macgregor Character Timeline in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The timeline below shows where the character Mary Macgregor appears in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
...the laughter of the girls present. Just then the final member of the Brodie set, Mary Macgregor, comes along, accompanied by an outsider to the set, Joyce Emily Hammond, a very... (full context)
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Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...recognize their primes and live life to the full during those years. Observing meanwhile that Mary is looking at something under her desk, Miss Brodie asks her what it is: “‘a... (full context)
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Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
...Miss Mackay’s question: “‘Speech is silver but silence is golden’” she says. She then quizzes Mary as to what she has just said, but Mary hasn’t been paying attention. “‘If only... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Mary Macgregor, though she lives to be twenty-four years old, never realizes that Miss Brodie only... (full context)
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Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...on through the old parts of Edinburgh, one Friday in March. Sandy is walking alongside Mary Macgregor because Jenny is absent from the outing. Sandy is daydreaming about assisting Alan Breck,... (full context)
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As they walk, Sandy nags at Mary for staring at an Indian student, then for lagging behind and for having poor posture.... (full context)
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...wishes Jenny were with her, “because Jenny cried easily about poor children.” Sandy turns to Mary then and tells her to stop pushing, even though Mary claims not to be pushing... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...Mackay leaves her classroom, Miss Brodie restates that an education is a leading out, calls Mary “‘stupid’” for not knowing what the word “nasally” means, and exults over having seen the... (full context)
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Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...“‘Philistines’” (that is, ignorant of artistic value). Sandy continues laughing and Miss Brodie chastises her. Mary also continues laughing; she would not have laughed at all had the other girls not... (full context)
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Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...wondering which of the Brodie set betrayed her, thereby forcing her to retire. Was it Mary? Rose? “It is seven years, thought Sandy, since I betrayed this tiresome woman. What does... (full context)
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...Mackay, at that point the headmistress, who favors the Modern side, invites Sandy, Jenny, and Mary over for tea, to discuss the decision with them. Mary’s grades are too low for... (full context)
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...Brodie, with the goal of pumping incriminating facts about her out of Sandy, Jenny, and Mary. Miss Mackay asks about the girls’ cultural interests, which Mary reports to be stories. When... (full context)
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Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
...Brodie girls at Blaine, Miss Brodie makes “herself adorable”—no bickering and no irritability save with Mary. Class is often held outside on benches under an elm, and Miss Brodie elaborates on... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...first week of the term, the girls conduct an experiment in which they ignited magnesium; Mary is so frightened that she runs in panic from flame to flame until Miss Lockhart... (full context)
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...tells the nun, “‘When any ill befalls me I wish I had been nicer to Mary.’” The narrator immediately shows us once more the scene in which Miss Brodie, dining with... (full context)
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...their lives, and also because Miss Mackay attempts to break the girls up. She permits Mary, who had wanted to go on to the Classical side but had been unable because... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...too, at this point in their lives in 1937. Eunice has a boyfriend; Monica and Mary take groceries to people living in slums; Jenny is acting; Rose models for Teddy Lloyd,... (full context)
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By their last year at Blaine, only four of the Brodie girls remain: Mary has gone off to be a typist, and Jenny has enrolled at a school of... (full context)