The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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Sandy Stranger Character Analysis

A small-eyed member of the Brodie set, Miss Brodie’s favorite and most intimate confidant, Sandy is highly imaginative and deeply interested in analyzing human behavior—she has “got insight,” as Miss Brodie tells her. She becomes deeply, even obsessively interested in Miss Brodie’s love affairs, going so far as to create fictionalized accounts of them with her best friend Jenny when the two are only young girls. But fiction later becomes fact when, in her eighteenth year, Sandy seduces Miss Brodie’s beloved Mr. Lloyd—in part because she is interested in his obsession with Miss Brodie and with his Roman Catholicism—thereby becoming her teacher’s proxy in the affair (a role Miss Brodie herself anticipated that Rose Stanley would fill). Nonetheless, and rather surprisingly, Sandy also at last betrays Miss Brodie, suggesting as she does to the Blaine headmistress Miss Mackay that Miss Brodie’s interest in fascism may well provide grounds for forcing her to retire. And so it does. Why Sandy would betray Miss Brodie, however, remains one of the novel’s most haunting open questions. After graduating from Blaine, Sandy studies psychology and publishes a famous psychological treatise, “The Transfiguration of the Commonplace”; she also converts to Roman Catholicism and becomes a nun known as Sister Helena. When asked what her greatest girlhood influence was, Sandy, now in middle age, responds: “‘There was a Miss Jean Brodie in her prime.’”

Sandy Stranger Quotes in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie quotes below are all either spoken by Sandy Stranger or refer to Sandy Stranger. 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 2 Quotes

‘Miss Brodie says prime is best,’ Sandy said.
‘Yes, but she never got married like our mothers and fathers.’
‘They don’t have primes,’ said Sandy.
‘They have sexual intercourse,’ Jenny said.

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger (speaker), Jenny Gray (speaker), Miss Jean Brodie
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Miss Brodie often tells her pupils that she is in her "prime," by which she means that she is at the peak of her allure, charisma, and influence. A woman's prime, we infer, is the most important and powerful time in her life, personally, professionally, and sexually. Miss Brodie tells her students to anticipate and recognize their primes. Here, Sandy and Jenny, two of the Brodie set, discuss their parents in the context of primes and sexual experience. 

This exchange reveals that Sandy and Jenny have intuited that Miss Brodie's prime is somehow related to sexuality. In trying to define the relation between sex and a prime, they agree that their parents do not have primes. However, they do "have sexual intercourse," which in itself strikes the girls as "a stupendous thought." They are both struck by the fact that Miss Brodie is in her prime, but is not married. She is a spinster at the peak of her sexual charisma, which seems contradictory to Sandy and Jenny. Indeed, Miss Brodie's affairs with married and unmarried men alike will be the among the dramatic centers of the text. 

This discussion of sex is complicated when Sandy speculates on Mr. Lloyd's newborn baby, saying that the infant is proof that Mr. Lloyd "committed sex with his wife." By saying "committed," Sandy further reveals her ambivalence towards sex by framing it with criminal language.

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Sandy looked back at her companions and understood them as a body with Miss Brodie for the head. 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.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Miss Brodie and her set are out walking. Sandy has an impulse to be kind to Mary MacGregor, who is the slow-witted scapegoat of the group. However, her kind impulse is checked by Miss Brodie's voice. Here, she sees herself and her companions as being a unified body with Miss Brodie "for the head." This moment is linked to the theme of Calvinism and predestination. 

Sandy sees clearly how Miss Brodie is a kind of God for herself and the other girls - she has chosen them and is now shaping them in her own image. She controls their fate with a confidence that suggests predetermination. In fact, it seems to Sandy that God himself has willed them all into existence only so that they might serve Miss Brodie. This moment is shocking and disturbing, as we see what the final goal of Miss Brodie's cherished transfiguration is: small replicas of herself, each girl like a piece of her own body. 

Mussolini had put an end to unemployment with his fascisti and there was no litter in the streets. It occurred to Sandy, there at the end of the Middle Meadow Walk, that the Brodie set was Miss Brodie’s fascisti, not to the naked eye, marching along, but all knit together for her need and in another way, marching along.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

During the same walk, Miss Brodie tells her girls that they should not join the Girl Guides, or Girl Scout Brownies. At this refusal, Sandy remembers Miss Brodie's admiration for Mussolini's troops, who had ended unemployment and cleaned the streets. Here, we see her drawing a convincing parallel between Mussolini and Miss Brodie herself. 

Sandy correctly intuits that she is a part of "Miss Brodie's fascisti," a social group "knit together" by their charismatic and powerful leader. Miss Brodie, as we saw earlier, attempts to transfigure her set into imitations of herself, but here we see that there is a militaristic component to her influence as well. Her set is a kind of social protection - girls that she has groomed to do whatever she might require of them.

Directly following this moment, Sandy thinks of defecting from Miss Brodie's ranks and joining the Girl Guides before a "group-fright siez[es]" her, but the idea seems ridiculous. The dangers of Miss Brodie's invasive methods are on display here, and will only grow more apparent when she encourages Joyce Emily to fight in the Spanish Civil War. 

And if people take their clothes off in front of each other, thought Sandy, it is so rude, they are bound to be put off their passion for a moment. And if they are put off just for a single moment, how can they be swept away in the urge? If it all happens in a flash…

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, we get our first glimpse into Sandy's complicated feelings about passion and sexuality. She is daydreaming about having dinner with Alan Breck (a famous historical figure) but is disturbed at the possibility that a dinner would lead to something more. She thinks to herself that being swept away must be avoidable. People must have a moment to think about it before romantic passion takes over them.

Then, Sandy thinks that the act of taking "clothes off" would be rude enough to "put off...passion for a moment." In addition to revealing her discomfort with the idea of sex and passion, this thought is amusing and reveals how young and inexperienced Sandy is.

Finally, this passage reveals Sandy's strong anxieties surrounding passion and the loss of self-control. Sandy highly values thinking, and does not want to be intellectually incapacitated by passion. Her thoughts here also relate to her feelings for Miss Brodie: earlier on the walk Sandy thinks to herself how she loves Miss Brodie, but it also seems that she is afraid of being swept away by her, of losing her identity to her, of losing her self-control. In one sense, Sandy’s betrayal of Miss Brodie is an act of recovering herself from passion (which would also make sense as Sandy eventually becomes a nun).

Chapter 3 Quotes

Sandy caught his [Mr. Teddy Lloyd’s] glance towards Miss Brodie as if seeking her approval for his very artistic attitude and Sandy saw her smile back as would a goddess with superior understanding smile to a god away on the mountain tops.

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger, Mr. Teddy Lloyd
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

Teddy Lloyd is, along with Mr. Lowther, one of two male teachers at the school whom the Brodie set intuit has feelings for Miss Brodie. Here, he is giving an art lesson to the students while Miss Brodie watches. He shows the students a painting of a Madonna and Child without any religious awe - only a "very artistic attitude." This surprises the religious girls, and Sandy notices that Mr. Lloyd seems to be "seeking [Miss Brodie's] approval" of his attitude.  

This brief instant confirms Miss Brodie's assertion that she is in her "prime," as well as fanning the flames of sexual curiosity that run unchecked through the Brodie set. Mr. Lloyd's art lesson is ironically less focused on teaching the girls about art and more interested in gauging Miss Brodie's thoughts, which, we see here, overlap with Mr. Lloyd's. They are a "god" and "goddess" above the young heads of their pupils.

This consideration on Mr. Lloyd's part is a very subtle form of courtship, and the fact that Sandy notices it suggests that she has been primed to take an inappropriate interest in Miss Brodie's personal relationships, which, of course, she has. Miss Brodie speaks frequently about her deceased first great love, who, like Mr. Lloyd, was a soldier. Immediately after the lesson, Monica Douglas tells the Brodie set that Mr. Lloyd kissed Miss Brodie. The idea seems impossible to them, but they soon become obsessed with it.

The shuttle of the sewing machines went up and down, which usually caused Sandy and Jenny to giggle, since at that time everything that could conceivably bear a sexual interpretation immediately did so to them. But the absence of Miss Brodie and the presence of Miss Gaunt had a definite subtracting effect from the sexual significance of everything, and the trepidation of the two sewing sisters contributed to the effect of grim realism.

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger, Jenny Gray, Miss Ellen and Alison Kerr
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

To understand the significance of this quote, we must remember the earlier sewing lesson scene, when Miss Brodie was present. In that scene, Miss Brodie read aloud to her pupils from Jane Eyre as they sewed, and the girls pricked their fingers so that there would be blood on their work. This earlier scene had an erotic, charged atmosphere that is noticeably lacking in the scene introduced in this quotation. 

In this scene, Miss Brodie's absence drains the "sexual significance" from everything. The weakened erotic charge is completely snuffed out by the complimentary presence of Miss Gaunt, whose very name suggests the "grim realism" her presence evokes. 

Later in the text, we learn that Miss Brodie took the leave of absence illustrated here to carry out an affair with Mr. Lowther (as a means of distracting herself from her true passion for Mr. Lloyd). The Brodie set is uniquely attuned to their own sexuality as well as Miss Brodie's, and here we see a different version of the authority and social grouping that has occurred throughout the text.

The Brodie set is still sensitive to the erotic fluctuations caused by Miss Brodie even when she is not present. She maintains her authority over them by priming their sexual curiosity (such as reading Jane Eyre to them) and her pull is strong enough that they define their mood even by her absence. 

It is seven years, thought Sandy, since I betrayed this tiresome woman [Miss Brodie]. What does she mean by ‘betray’? She was looking at the hills as if to see there the first and unbetrayable Miss Brodie, indifferent to criticism as a crag.

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

This is an essential moment in the novel's plot. The book makes use of prolepsis (flash-forwards in time) to show us the fate of the Brodie set in their adult years. These flash-forwards focus particularly on Sandy, who is here having lunch with an aged and nostalgic Miss Brodie. Miss Brodie has spent much of the lunch trying to discover which of her set "betrayed" her.  And now we learn that it is Sandy, presumably the girl that Miss Brodie suspects the least, who betrayed her teacher. 

Sandy thinks of Miss Brodie as "this tiresome woman," which reveals the effort Sandy has made to free herself of Miss Brodie's charismatic spell. Sandy is also confounded by Miss Brodie's suggestion that she has been "betrayed." We understand that "the first and unbetrayable Miss Brodie," that is, the Miss Brodie that led the Brodie set when Sandy was a girl, would not use such a term. It would not, as Sandy herself suggests, have even been possible to betray the woman she used to know. 

Sandy then looks out to the hills, searching for the earlier, stronger, more enchanting Miss Brodie as if she were a crag in the hillside. We understand here that although Sandy has made a great effort to break free of Miss Brodie's authority, she is still somewhat caught up in it, or at least nostalgic for it. She pretends not to feel any pull from the present day Miss Brodie, but in fact, Sandy is the member of the Brodie set who remains most faithfully obsessed with Miss Brodie in her adult life. 

This was the first time the girls had heard of Hugh’s artistic leanings. Sandy puzzled over this with Jenny, and it came to them both that Miss Brodie was making her new love story fir the old… Sandy was fascinated by this method of making patterns was facts, and was divided between her admiration for the technique and the pressing need t prove Miss Brodie guilty of misconduct.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger, Jenny Gray, Hugh
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Miss Brodie has just been speaking about a familiar subject - her lost love, Hugh, who died in the war. However, her story is different this time. For "the first time," Miss Brodie tells the girls that Hugh was an artist - a painter, in fact. It is no coincidence that Mr. Lloyd, her most recent passion, is also a painter.

Sandy and Jenny realize that Miss Brodie is making "her new love story fit the old." In this moment, we see Sandy's ambivalent feelings towards Miss Brodie's manner of living. 

First and foremost, Sandy is "fascinated" by Miss Brodie's willingness to treat her own life as a narrative, and to mold the structure to fit her whims. However, Sandy is also struck by a "need to prove Miss Brodie guilty of misconduct." This need will come to motivate many of Sandy future actions - not least her final betrayal of Miss Brodie. Her desire to expose and punish the guilty is also related to her conflicting feelings towards sex and sexuality, as well as her eventual conversion to the Roman Catholic church. Miss Brodie is playing loosely with the facts of her sexual history, and Sandy resents this.

Chapter 4 Quotes

It was twenty-five years before Sandy had so far recovered from a creeping vision of disorder that she could look back and recognize that Miss Brodie’s defective sense of self-criticism had not been without its beneficent and enlarging effects; by which time Sandy had already betrayed Miss Brodie and Miss Brodie was laid in her grave.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

Related to the fact that Miss Brodie could not respect the guilt-based religion of the Roman Catholic Church, she lives her life with a "defective sense of self-criticism." This means that Miss Brodie does not feel guilt - she does not reproach herself for making immoral choices. Here, we see Sandy considering this trait of Miss Brodie's, and coming to appreciate it in a way that she had not been able to do as a girl. 

Sandy, we remember, spent her adolescence obsessed with Miss Brodie, but also disturbed by her willingness to bend the truth of her life and manipulate her students. Miss Brodie's inability to feel guilt, when combined with these other failings, gave rise to Sandy's "creeping vision of disorder." Miss Brodie was a chaotic force, and Sandy, who as a girl was drawn to control and cool, analytic thought, found this chaos unsettling. 

However, "twenty-five years" later, after the damage has been done on both sides (Sandy betrayed Miss Brodie, and Miss Brodie stunted the development of many of her pupils), Sandy realizes that Miss Brodie's refusal to self-criticize had "benefic[ial] and enlarging effects." This is a bittersweet moment. It highlights Sandy's constant consideration of Miss Brodie, as well as the deeply complicated legacy - both positive and negative - that Miss Brodie left behind. 

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.  

In fact, it was the religion of Calvin of which Sandy felt deprived, or rather a specified recognition of it. She desired this birthright; something definite to reject. It pervaded the place in proportion as it was unacknowledged. In some ways the most real and rooted people whom Sandy knew were Miss Gaunt and the Kerr sisters who made no evasions about their belief that God had planned for practically everybody before they were born a nasty surprise when they died.

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger, Miss Ellen and Alison Kerr, Miss Gaunt
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

Calvinism is, as Sandy has intuited, an enormous influence on Miss Brodie. Instead of flatly rejecting the belief system, Miss Brodie has perverted it by "electing herself to grace" and taking on a God-like role of determining her own fate and the fate of the Brodie set. 

Here, Sandy wishes that she could believe seriously in Calvinism (which holds that God elects people to Heaven without reference to their earthly conduct) because it would be "something definite to reject." Instead, her most potent belief is in Miss Brodie herself, which leads eventually to her rejection and betrayal of her teacher and her conversion to Roman Catholicism (the one religion that Miss Brodie refused, and one in which your earthly conduct more directly influences the fate of your soul).

In this passage, Sandy also thinks about Miss Gaunt and the Kerr sisters (who take care of Mr. Lowther and are therefore rivals with Miss Brodie for his time and attention). These women are "the most real and rooted" people that she knows, and although Sandy does not necessarily respect their beliefs, she envies their sense of balance and strength. They are the calm foils to the chaos that governs Miss Brodie's life. 

She [Sandy] began to sense what went to the makings of Miss Brodie who had elected herself to grace in a particular way and with more exotic suicidal enchantment than if she had simply taken to drink like other spinsters who couldn’t stand it any more.


It was plain that Miss Brodie wanted Rose with her instinct to start preparing to be Teddy Lloyd’s lover, and Sandy with her insight to act as informant on the affair. It was to this end that Rose and Sandy had been chose as the crème de la crème.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger, Mr. Teddy Lloyd
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Sandy has a revelation about Miss Brodie's self-elevation as well as Miss Brodie's grand plan for Sandy and Rose. Miss Brodie is a glamorous woman, committed to the idea of a life transfigured and elevated by passion and extraordinary actions. To this end, Miss Brodie has "elected herself to grace" so that she might best control and determine her own fate as well as the fates of her set. She wants to plot the lives of her students like a novelist, or a predestining God.

However, Sandy sees that this control and manipulation is merely an "exotic" version of common actions taken by "other spinsters." While those less imaginative women might "take to drink" to numb the bleakness of their daily lives, Miss Brodie instead finds escape and fantasy in her plans for herself and her girls. The method is different, but the root causes are the same. 

We also see the first explicit sketch of Miss Brodie's plan for her two most promising girls - the insightful Sandy and the instinctive Rose. Miss Brodie wants Rose to begin an affair with Mr. Lloyd - to act as Miss Brodie's erotic proxy. Sandy's job will be to inform Miss Brodie about the affair in satisfying detail. Although she pretends to have elevated ambitions for the "creme de la creme" of her girls, Miss Brodie's actual plan is a sordid, disturbing anticlimax. 

Chapter 6 Quotes

She [Miss Brodie] thinks she is Providence, thought Sandy, she thinks she is the God of Calvin, she sees the beginning and the end. And Sandy thought, too, the woman is an unconscious lesbian. And many theories from the books of psychology categorized Miss Brodie, but failed to obliterate her image from the canvases of one-armed Teddy Lloyd.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger, Mr. Teddy Lloyd
Related Symbols: Mr. Teddy Lloyd’s Portraits
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Lloyd has become a secondary figure of obsession for Sandy, mainly because he is so clearly infatuated with Miss Brodie, a feeling with which Sandy can't help but empathize. The portraits that Mr. Lloyd paints of the Brodie set have one thing in common: they all look like more like Miss Brodie than their true subjects. Sandy reports this to Miss Brodie, who is predictably pleased with the information. She called herself Mr. Lloyd's Muse, and goes on to speculate on when Rose will take her place as the artist's muse, a veiled reference to the affair that Miss Brodie is attempting to orchestrate. 

Here, we see Sandy grapple openly with a way of understanding Miss Brodie and pinning her down. Sandy is known for her "insight" - her ability to analyze clearly and deeply - and here, we can read her attempts to define Miss Brodie as a way of wrestling control away from her teacher. If she can classify Miss Brodie, then Miss Brodie will lose some of her magnetic power. 

First, Sandy thinks that Miss Brodie has put herself in the position of God. She controls her pupil's fate like the Calvinist God of predetermination, or like an author manipulating characters into pleasing and dramatic narratives. Sandy's next idea - that Miss Brodie is an "unconscious lesbian" - may well be a psychological projection. Sandy herself seems to have homoerotic feelings for Miss Brodie. Her thoughts then become more vague, as she cycles through "many theories" in an attempt to define Miss Brodie. Sandy is ultimately unsuccessful, however, as none of her analytical thinking can erase Miss Brodie from Mr. Lloyd's canvases, and by extension, from his mind as well as Sandy's. 

The more she [Sandy] discovered him [Mr. Lloyd] to be in love with Jean Brodie, the more she was curious about the mind that loved the woman. By the end of the year it happened that she had quite lost interest in the man himself, but was deeply absorbed in his mind, from which she extracted, among other things, his religion as a pith from a husk.

Related Characters: Miss Jean Brodie, Sandy Stranger, Mr. Teddy Lloyd
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

Despite Miss Brodie's plans for Rose and Mr. Lloyd to have an affair, it is actually Sandy who begins sleeping with Mr. Lloyd. She does so for several reasons. Mr. Lloyd and Sandy share an obsession with Miss Brodie, which Sandy can use to manipulate Mr. Lloyd (every time she points out that he has accidentally painted Miss Brodie, Mr. Lloyd kisses her). Also, Sandy has long wanted to thwart Miss Brodie's deterministic plans, and becoming Mr. Lloyd's lover in Rose's place is an efficient way of derailing Miss Brodie's attempts to manipulate her life. 

However, as her affair with Mr. Llody continues, Sandy loses interest in "the man himself." Instead, she is consumed by her efforts to understand "the mind that loved [Miss Brodie]." Again, we see "insightful" Sandy throwing the full force of her analytical powers into trying to understand Miss Brodie and the effects she has on people. 

In the course of her study of Mr. Lloyd, Sandy "extract[s]" his religion. Mr. Lloyd is a Roman Catholic. Eventually, Sandy becomes a Roman Catholic nun. Sandy may take an interest in Roman Catholicism for a number of reasons. Perhaps she feels guilty about her affair with Mr. Lloyd and thinks that she can most effectively repent as a Roman Catholic. Or, more persuasively, perhaps she is defying Miss Brodie’s influence by turning to Roman Catholicism, a faith where one cannot just dismiss one’s own guilt as Miss Brodie seems to do. Another option is that in becoming Roman Catholic she becomes like the man whom Miss Brodie loves. Or perhaps it is some messy combination of all of these things.

‘What were the main influences of your schooldays, Sister Helena? Were they literary or political or personal? Was it Calvinism?’


Sandy said: ‘There was a Miss Jean Brodie in her prime.’

Related Characters: Sandy Stranger (speaker), Miss Jean Brodie
Related Symbols: “The Transfiguration of the Commonplace”
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:

As an adult, Sandy is a Roman Catholic nun, well-known for her book, "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace." In the second chapter of the novel, a young man who admires her work comes and speaks with her. The novel ends on their interaction, as he asks her about her early influences.

Although the young man offers up several possibilities, Sandy responds with a single influence: "a Miss Jean Brodie in her prime." It is a tremendous irony that Sandy - who cut so violently against Miss Brodie's plans for her, and who went so far as to betray Miss Brodie - names her old teacher as her single, formative influence. The very fact that Sandy rejected the influence so aggressively is the purest proof that Miss Brodie's influence endures. 

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Sandy Stranger Character Timeline in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The timeline below shows where the character Sandy Stranger 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
...sex. Eunice Gardiner, small and neat, is famous for “her spritely gymnastics and glamorous swimming.” Sandy Stranger is notorious for her “small, almost non-existent, eyes” and famous for her vowel sounds,... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
...their secret life as it had been six years ago in their childhood.” Following behind, Sandy remembers one of Miss Brodie’s sayings from that time: “‘I am putting old heads on... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...redemption.” She then returns to the subject of her prime, checking to make sure that Sandy has been paying attention, which she has. (full context)
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...War I on Flanders’ Field a week before the Armistice. After interrupting herself to chastise Sandy for having her sleeves rolled up, Miss Brodie goes on: her fiancé had been poor,... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Sandy Stranger, while Miss Brodie’s pupil, also has a feeling that her childhood is supposed to... (full context)
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Sandy then pulls out a notebook stashed away in her room, the first page of which... (full context)
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Sandy and Jenny resume work on the story, describing how the fictionalized Hugh flings Sandy away... (full context)
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...end of the school day, and Miss Brodie is reciting Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott.” Sandy, leading her double life to stave off boredom, is daydreaming that the Lady of Shalott... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
Miss Brodie invites Sandy to recite some poetry with her famous half-English vowels, and the narrator informs us that... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
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...the girls to walk in the composed manner of Sybil Thorndike (a famous English actress); Sandy does so to such an extent that Miss Brodie thinks her walk a parody and... (full context)
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...her to have it removed by the science teacher to the Senior girls, Miss Lockhart. Sandy even goes so far once in a while as to intentionally spill ink on her... (full context)
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Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...Brodie leads her favorites 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... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
As they walk, Sandy nags at Mary for staring at an Indian student, then for lagging behind and for... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...and Guides, but she implies that it is not for the crème de la crème. Sandy recalls to herself just then Miss Brodie’s admiration for Mussolini’s marching troops, the fascisti, whom... (full context)
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
...Miss Brodie comments that the Scots owe a lot to the French. As they walk, Sandy feels as though she’s in a different country, full of new smells, new shapes, and... (full context)
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
Insight, Instinct, and Transfiguration Theme Icon
The narrative flash-forwards: Sandy, in middle age, is a nun called Sister Helena. She has published a famous psychological... (full context)
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Religion, Predestination, and Narrative Structure Theme Icon
The narrative shifts back to the long walk Sandy and the rest of the Brodie set are having with Miss Brodie through Edinburgh. As... (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
...said that I put ideas into your heads,’” she instructs them before quizzing the daydreaming Sandy on what education is. (full context)
Authority and Social Groups Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...having a mind “‘full of motor cars’” and for not paying attention to her conversation. Sandy, meanwhile, is fantasizing about dinner with Alan Breck, but is disturbed to think of being... (full context)
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...girls to pray for these men, and reminds them that Italy had no unemployment problem. Sandy becomes frightened looking at the unemployed men, then thinks of their starving children and wants... (full context)
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The long walk is over. Sandy decides not to go to Miss Brodie’s for tea, but instead takes the tramcar home.... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Education vs. Intrusion Theme Icon
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...painted ladies’ bottoms. Miss Brodie calls the girls “‘Philistines’” (that is, ignorant of artistic value). Sandy continues laughing and Miss Brodie chastises her. Mary also continues laughing; she would not have... (full context)
Sexuality, One’s Prime, and Spinsterhood Theme Icon
...question her over details, like when the kiss occurred, where, and how long it lasted. Sandy, most dissatisfied with Monica’s account, reenacts the kiss several times to test its plausibility. When... (full context)
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...agitated before, during, and after them; she also wears “her newest clothes on singing days.” Sandy continues to disbelieve that Monica had seen Miss Brodie kiss Mr. Lloyd; in fact, only... (full context)
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The narrative shifts back in time: Sandy knew about the kiss even before Miss Brodie tells her about it one day after... (full context)
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During this post-war meal with Sandy, Miss Brodie also recalls the time when in the autumn of 1931 she took a... (full context)
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Sandy recalls to herself that, during one sewing class, Miss Gaunt discussed her brother with Miss... (full context)
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Sandy further recalls to herself that, to break up the sexless gloom imposed by Miss Gaunt,... (full context)
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The narrative returns to the nineteen-forties, to the meal Miss Brodie and Sandy are sharing at the Braid Hills Hotel. Miss Brodie goes on to tell Sandy that,... (full context)
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...now playing the accompaniment on the piano. Mr. Lowther no longer plays with Jenny’s curls. Sandy is almost sure that Mr. Lowther loves Miss Brodie and that Miss Brodie loves Mr.... (full context)
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...Eunice would be missing out on watching “‘a great moment in eternity.’” All that term Sandy daydreams about dancing with Anna Pavlova. (full context)
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...Brodie’s death. She is in a nursing home and learns then from Monica Douglas that Sandy had gone to a convent to become a nun. Miss Brodie wonders whether Sandy did... (full context)
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...Classical side. Miss 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... (full context)
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...generously of Miss 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... (full context)
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These events cause quite a stir among the Brodie set. Sandy, just on the verge of obtaining permission to take walks alone, is denied permission after... (full context)
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Nonetheless, Sandy continues to daydream about serving on the Force with the policewoman, whom she names in... (full context)
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Back at school after the Easter holidays, Sandy and Jenny keep secret the “Water of Leith affair”; one morning Sandy even goes so... (full context)
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...painter: “I think the painter was the real Hugh,’” she says. It becomes clear to Sandy and Jenny, as they discuss it alone, that Miss Brodie was fitting her old love... (full context)
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...visiting Jenny’s aunt in the coastal town of Crail in the Scottish region of Fife, Sandy and Jenny complete their fictionalized love correspondence between Miss Brodie and Mr. Lowther. At the... (full context)
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After completing the love correspondence, Sandy and Jenny read it from end to end, and wonder whether they should cast it... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Once, years later, when Rose Stanley is visiting Sandy at the convent, she tells the nun, “‘When any ill befalls me I wish I... (full context)
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...Rose Stanley, whose profile he seemed to admire, to pick it up. Jenny commented to Sandy when Mr. Lloyd smashed the saucer that Miss Brodie had good taste in men. Upon... (full context)
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The narrator tells us that, since moving on to the Senior school, Sandy and Jenny’s interest in Miss Brodie’s love life has moved from being absolutely sexually charged... (full context)
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...hosting tea on Saturdays, Miss Brodie also sets aside an hour during which she has Sandy and Jenny teach her the Greek they are learning in class. She progresses in the... (full context)
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In the spring of 1933, Miss Brodie’s Greek lessons with Sandy and Jenny come to an end. The Kerr sisters have begun to enjoy caring for... (full context)
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...only in retrospect recognize its amorality. However, even later on, after Miss Brodie has died, Sandy comes to recognize that “Miss Brodie’s defective sense of self-criticism had not been without its... (full context)
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...exults in her victory over the Kerr sisters. She attributes it, in a discussion with Sandy and Jenny, to her ancestry. She explains that she is a descendent of Willie Brodie,... (full context)
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Sandy begins to consider not only the question of Miss Brodie’s desirability from a man’s perspective,... (full context)
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...Mr. Lowther one day, hence his many children, six in all including lots of babies. Sandy and Jenny report that Mrs. Lloyd is either past her prime or would never have... (full context)
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...advises Mr. Lowther to withdraw from his positions of choirmaster and Elder at the church. Sandy later learns about the nightdress when she, moved by other considerations, betrays Miss Brodie to... (full context)
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One night in the summer of 1933, Sandy and Jenny are at Mr. Lowther’s house at Cramond while Miss Brodie prepares a great... (full context)
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On a joint impulse, Sandy and Jenny decide then to run along the beach. When they return to Mr. Lowther’s... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Fifteen years old at this time, Sandy stands with Mr. Lloyd in his studio admiring the portrait he has done of Rose... (full context)
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At this point, it seems to Sandy that the Brodie set might split up—which she thinks “perhaps a good thing.” While they... (full context)
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Sandy then follows Mr. Lloyd downstairs, where she spends most of tea trying to understand her... (full context)
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...girls she can trust, and wants to alarm no parental suspicions. However, she finds in Sandy a girl in whom she can confide entirely. (full context)
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In fact, in the autumn of 1935, while the two golf together, Miss Brodie tells Sandy that all of her ambitions are fixed on her and Rose. She asks Sandy if... (full context)
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Also around this time, Sandy would stand outside St. Giles’s Cathedral or the Tolbooth (an old municipal building in Edinburgh),... (full context)
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Sandy also develops what she thinks of as Miss Brodie’s plan, unfolding over many years: Rose... (full context)
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...before these 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... (full context)
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Sandy feels warmly toward Miss Brodie when she sees how misled she is in her idea... (full context)
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...with Mr. Lowther as a close friendship, even though she has neglected him of late. Sandy thinks that this is so because Miss Brodie’s sexual feelings are satisfied by proxy, as... (full context)
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...her spare energy into her plan for Rose to become Mr. Lloyd’s lover and for Sandy to become her informant on the affair. “What energy she had to spare from that,”... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...teacher without incriminating themselves at the same time. One time Miss Mackay tries to trick Sandy into betraying that Miss Brodie drinks too much. But Miss Brodie really doesn’t drink much... (full context)
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...people living in slums; Jenny is acting; Rose models for Teddy Lloyd, sometimes accompanied by Sandy who toys with the idea of inducing Mr. Lloyd to kiss her again. The girls... (full context)
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...go on to 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... (full context)
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...Brodie will never know how easily Rose shook off her influence. She still confides in Sandy that she thinks Rose and Mr. Lloyd will become lovers, which is not so much... (full context)
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Sandy still visits the Lloyds during this period, and indeed has gotten herself “a folkweave shirt”... (full context)
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Sandy has told Miss Brodie—and Miss Brodie loves to hear it—that all of Mr. Lloyd’s portraits... (full context)
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Much later, after Sandy has become a nun, Rose comes to visit her; Rose has been married for a... (full context)
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Monica also comes to visit Sandy when both are adult women, ostensibly seeking marital advice, for she had thrown a piece... (full context)
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...have left Blaine. Miss Brodie has gone to Germany and Austria for the summer, while Sandy reads psychology and goes often to the Lloyds’ to sit for her own portrait, sometimes... (full context)
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During the time of their affair, Mr. Lloyd paints Sandy a little. She tells him that he is making her look like Miss Jean Brodie... (full context)
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In September, Miss Brodie and Sandy meet at the Braid Hills Hotel, where Miss Brodie discusses Hitler, quite sure that fascism... (full context)
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Mr. Lloyd continues painting accidental portraits of Jean Brodie, even though he recognizes as Sandy does that she is not to be taken seriously. Their affair continues even once Mrs.... (full context)
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The following autumn, Sandy meets Miss Brodie several times, discussing Mr. Lloyd as usual, how his portraits all reflect... (full context)
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That autumn, Sandy returns to Blaine to see Miss Mackay, and tells her that Miss Brodie is still... (full context)
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Sandy is to leave Edinburgh at the end of the year. When she goes to the... (full context)
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...Miss Brodie is forced to retire, “on the grounds that she had been teaching Fascism.” Sandy has entered the Catholic Church by then, where she meets a number of fascists “much... (full context)
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Miss Brodie writes to Sandy to tell her of her retirement, theorizing that the political question was only an excuse,... (full context)
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Over the years, many Brodie girls contact Sandy after she has become Sister Helena of the Transfiguration and published “The Transfiguration of the... (full context)
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And then there is the day that the inquiring young man visits Sandy (an incident first described in Chapter 2), speaking with her through the grille which Sandy... (full context)