The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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Rose Stanley Character Analysis

Rose is a member of the Brodie set, an appealing blonde “famous for sex” in her later years at the Marcia Blaine School even though has no curiosity about sex whatsoever, never talks about sex, and does not indulge in it presumably until marriage. Miss Brodie holds out hope that Rose, along with Sandy, will prove to be the “‘the crème de la crème’” of her pupils, and claims that Rose herself has instinct, a quality she admires in her. Indeed, when Rose begins modeling for Mr. Lloyd’s portraits, Miss Brodie gets it into her head that the girl will have a love affair with him as her, Miss Brodie’s proxy, and she plans for this to come about; but it never does, for Mr. Lloyd has no sexual interest in Rose and Rose merely poses for him because she needs the money to fund her “addiction” to the cinema (i.e. movies). After graduating from Blaine, Rose marries well and, in contrast to Sandy, shakes off “Miss Brodie’s influence as a dog shakes pond-water from its coat.”

Rose Stanley Quotes in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie quotes below are all either spoken by Rose Stanley or refer to Rose Stanley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper Perennial edition of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie published in 2009.
Chapter 5 Quotes

‘Do you know, Sandy dear, all my ambitions are for you and Rose. You have got insight, perhaps not quite spiritual, but you’re a deep one, and Rose has got instinct, Rose has got instinct.’

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie (speaker), Sandy Stranger, Rose Stanley
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

Miss Brodie is speaking to Sandy in the fall of 1931. Sandy is in her early teenage years and Miss Brodie is in the heyday of her affair with Mr. Lowther. The Brodie set is maturing into themselves, and Miss Brodie here takes it upon herself to claim that, out of all the girls, she only has "ambitions" for two of them: Sandy and Rose. She chooses these two girls because she feels they represent the two greatest characteristics a woman can have: insight and instinct. 

Sandy has insight, which Miss Brodie defines as intellectual ability and analytical penetration. Rose, on the other hand, has instinct, which here means physical appeal, grace, and erotic power. Miss Brodie conceives of herself as having both insight and instinct, and so we might see her trying to recreate the whole of herself in two spiritual daughters, each of whom is half of her.

It's a mistake, of course, that Miss Brodie should place so much trust in Sandy and Rose. Eventually, Rose will cast off her influence and Sandy will betray her.  

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Rose Stanley Character Timeline in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The timeline below shows where the character Rose Stanley 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
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...Douglas, red-nosed and fat-legged, is a prefect famous for her mathematical ability and violent anger. Rose Stanley is famous for sex. Eunice Gardiner, small and neat, is famous for “her spritely... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Rose asks who is responsible for the plot, and Miss Brodie says that they would discuss... (full context)
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...her class, meant that the couple would have to “‘live quietly.’” When Miss Brodie asks Rose what “We shall have to drink water and walk slow” means, the young student just... (full context)
Chapter 2
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...poetry with her famous half-English vowels, and the narrator informs us that by this point Rose Stanley is not yet famous for sex. In fact, it is Eunice Gardiner who broaches... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Back at the classroom, Rose Stanley reports to Miss Brodie that she (Rose) has ink on her blouse; Miss Brodie... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
The walk continues. Rose Stanley points out a French car; Miss Brodie chastises her for having a mind “‘full... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
...accuse her of impropriety unless one of her girls betrayed her and distorted the truth. Rose says, “‘Miss Mackay has an awfully red face, with the veins all showing,’” but Miss... (full context)
Chapter 3
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...continues to disbelieve that Monica had seen Miss Brodie kiss Mr. Lloyd; in fact, only Rose, who is not at all and never will be curious about sex, believes Monica. However,... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...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 she... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
...that Miss Brodie loves Mr. Lloyd. The narrator also foreshadows here, although only vaguely, that Rose Stanley later becomes involved in the love affair between Miss Brodie and Mr. Lloyd. (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...this request are motivated by something that happened earlier that day: Miss Brodie specifically sent Rose to help Mr. Lloyd carry art supplies back to the classroom and it occurred to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Once, years later, when Rose Stanley is visiting Sandy at the convent, she tells the nun, “‘When any ill befalls... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
...and chatty and giggly the girls were, smashed a saucer on the floor and told Rose Stanley, whose profile he seemed to admire, to pick it up. Jenny commented to Sandy... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...two portraits in his studio, an amusingly serious one of his family, and one of Rose Stanley, who has been modeling for him. This is exciting to Miss Brodie, as is... (full context)
Chapter 5
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...Sandy stands with Mr. Lloyd in his studio admiring the portrait he has done of Rose Stanley in her gym tunic. Strangely, Rose’s face in the portrait resembles that of Miss... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...together, Miss Brodie tells Sandy that all of her ambitions are fixed on her and Rose. She asks Sandy if it seems that Jenny is becoming a bit insipid, and Sandy... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
Sandy also develops what she thinks of as Miss Brodie’s plan, unfolding over many years: Rose with her instinct is to have a love affair with Mr. Lloyd, as a great... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...things would come to pass. In the interim, Miss Brodie discusses art with Sandy and Rose and tells Rose that she has to realize the power within and fulfill herself, which... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...warmly toward Miss Brodie when she sees how misled she is in her idea of Rose, who is not as sexually adventurous as Miss Brodie thinks. Later in life, after she... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...is so because Miss Brodie’s sexual feelings are satisfied by proxy, as her plan for Rose to become Mr. Lloyd’s lover reaches fulfillment. Miss Brodie claims that, if she wished, she... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...feels betrayed. The term following, Miss Brodie puts her spare energy into her plan for Rose to become Mr. Lloyd’s lover and for Sandy to become her informant on the affair.... (full context)
Chapter 6
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
...a boyfriend; Monica and Mary take groceries to people living in slums; Jenny is acting; Rose models for Teddy Lloyd, sometimes accompanied by Sandy who toys with the idea of inducing... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
...study modern languages, but becomes a nurse instead; Monica goes into science, Sandy into psychology. Rose, inheriting her father’s instinctive and “merry carnality,” makes a good marriage soon after she leaves... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
Miss Brodie will never know how easily Rose shook off her influence. She still confides in Sandy that she thinks Rose and Mr.... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...while with them; and when she looks on as Mr. Lloyd paints a portrait of Rose nude, Sandy notices that the image emerging resembles Rose but even more than that it... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...Mr. Lloyd’s portraits reflect her. Miss Brodie calls herself Mr. Lloyd’s Muse and predicts that Rose will take her place. Sandy, on the other hand, thinks, “She thinks she is Providence…... (full context)
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
Much later, after Sandy has become a nun, Rose comes to visit her; Rose has been married for a long time at that point... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...husband to demand a separation. The two instead talk of Miss Brodie: Sandy explains that Rose never did sleep with Teddy Lloyd, that Miss Brodie did indeed love the artist, and... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...and goes often to the Lloyds’ to sit for her own portrait, sometimes accompanied by Rose. Once, when Sandy and Mr. Lloyd are all alone because his wife and family are... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...will save the world. Sandy is bored. At last Miss Brodie comes to the point: “‘Rose tells me you have become his [Mr. Lloyd’s] lover,’” she says. Sandy says she has,... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
...him. Miss Brodie tells Sandy that, however strange, it is she, Sandy herself, and not Rose who was destined to be the great lover. Miss Brodie also confides in Sandy that... (full context)