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Describe the character of Lorna in muriel sparks short story, 'You should have seen the mess'.

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Describe the character of Lorna in Muriel Spark's short story 'You should have seen the mess'. What would you say were her main characteristics? Muriel Spark conveys a disconcertingly snobbish sense of humor in her short story, 'You should have seen the mess'. She cleverly portrays this through the narrative of Lorna, who is a lower middle class girl who begins the story aged at seventeen. The story starts with Lorna telling us that she is now glad that she didn't pass the exam for grammar school. The main reason she gives is because the comprehensive she attended was cleaner. 'I am glad that I went to the secondary modern school, because it was only constructed the year before. Therefore it was much more hygienic than the grammar school.' This gives us the first indication of her character, aside from giving us an idea of her naivety, and sense of denial it gives us the possibility that she is obsessed with cleanliness and order. At this point though I thought she must be clutching at straws and to hide her disappointment. ...read more.


When Lorna meets the Darby family she was as expected, surprised at 'the state it was in' when n she enters their living room. She remarks on the Darby children: 'The children clothes were very shabby for a doctor, and she changed them out of their school clothes when they came home from school, into those worn out garments. Mum always kept us spotless to go out to play'. This is an ignorant comment; surely changing into old clothes to play in would be the sensible thing to do. Lorna goes with the Darby family to visit Mr. Darby's mother and she shows her ignorance again. She cannot see the charms of Mrs. Darby's 14th century cottage, and thinks a council house w would be more desirable. She asks Mrs. Darby, 'Are you going to be re-housed?' She explained to her how you have to apply to the council and keep at them. Similarly, she visits friends f the Darby's in an apartment in Curzon Street. ...read more.


At the end of the story she looks around her parent's council flat and remarked at its new d�cor and furniture, and thought of Willy's place, she ends the story: 'What a fool I was going with Willy, when I recall his place and the good carpet gone greasy, not to mention the paint oozing out of the tubes, I think it would break my he art to sink s low.' This is ironic, to call herself a fool for ever being with him when it is apparent to us that she is the foolish one, to prioritize cleanliness, and to consider new modern clean uncharacteristic furnishings to equal good character and high status. The final comparison highlights all her characteristics that stem from one another, obsessiveness, ignorance, naivety, and I personally feel these are all the result of being under the heavy influence of controlling narrow minded parents. It is easy to dislike Lorna, although her ignorance and rude comments, and superficial nature are learnt traits and I feel she is just na�ve as opposed to malicious, I will say that. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jennifer Pinch Humanities Access English, Glen McIver. October 1, 2009 ...read more.

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