Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Miss Jewsbury Character Analysis

A churchgoing woman and a closeted lesbian. When Jeanette is very young and goes deaf due to a problem with her adenoids, no one notices Jeanette’s sudden lack of hearing, and assumes her withdrawn attitude and ignorance of her surroundings means she is having a divine episode. Jeanette eventually confesses to Miss Jewsbury that she cannot hear a thing, and Miss Jewsbury takes Jeanette to the hospital and helps her to get medical help. Years later, when Jeanette and Melanie’s affair is revealed in front of the entire congregation, Miss Jewsbury warns Jeanette of what is to come and offers her support in the aftermath. When Jeanette goes to Miss Jewsbury’s house after having been publicly shamed at church, she and Miss Jewsbury make love, and the following day Miss Jewsbury drives Jeanette to the house where Melanie is staying so that Jeanette can say goodbye. Shortly after that, Miss Jewsbury leaves town for good, returning only for Elsie’s funeral, during which she briefly reconnects with Jeanette and invites her for a visit—which Jeanette, older and wiser, declines.
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Miss Jewsbury Character Timeline in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Jewsbury appears in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Genesis
Storytelling, Fantasy, and Invention Theme Icon
Religion and Control Theme Icon
...the room, and when she returns to the banquet hall a member of the congregation, Miss Jewsbury , asks where Pastor Finch is. Jeanette tells her that he is with the children... (full context)
2. Exodus
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Jeanette decided to take a walk, and while she was out she ran into Miss Jewsbury , who had not been to church for a long time and did not know... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Miss Jewsbury snatched Jeanette’s hand and walked her to the hospital, where Jeanette’s mother and several other... (full context)
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
A doctor took Jeanette back to an examination room, and Miss Jewsbury joined them for the examination. Soon, Jeanette’s mother arrived, conversed with the doctor, and wrote... (full context)
6. Joshua
Storytelling, Fantasy, and Invention Theme Icon
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...church, the first hymn has already started. The girls slide into a pew next to Miss Jewsbury , who turns to Jeanette and warns her to stay calm. Jeanette is confused, and... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...mother has gone up to join him. She is weeping. Melanie squeezes Jeanette’s hand, and Miss Jewsbury urges the girls to stand up and head to the front. They go together, hand... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Jeanette runs out into the street, where Miss Jewsbury is waiting for her. Miss Jewsbury brings Jeanette back to her house and makes coffee... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...her into the room. They ask her whether she stayed the night with the “unholy” Miss Jewsbury , but Jeanette denies it, and insists she must go to school. The pastor urges... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...away for a while to “recover.” As soon as the elders leave, Jeanette runs to Miss Jewsbury , and asks if she knows where Melanie has gone. Miss Jewsbury invites Jeanette in,... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...fall asleep crying, and make love in the middle of the night. In the morning, Miss Jewsbury sounds her car horn, and Jeanette leaves Melanie alone. (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...one from church has mentioned the incident, and no one seems to have noticed that Miss Jewsbury has packed up and left town. Meanwhile, Jeanette’s mother is collecting canned foods to add... (full context)
7. Judges
Religion and Control Theme Icon
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Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
After the meeting Jeanette goes to Elsie’s, who reveals that Miss Jewsbury has moved to Leeds, is teaching music, and is “not living alone.” Elsie confesses to... (full context)
8. Ruth
Religion and Control Theme Icon
Women and Womanhood Theme Icon
Transgression and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...commotion, as Jeanette returns to the kitchen, she feels someone standing behind her. It is Miss Jewsbury , who asks Jeanette how she’s faring. After the two catch up briefly, Miss Jewsbury... (full context)