• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild

    Buck is at the top of his condition. Never before has he been in such a good state and like John says sometimes there has probably never before been such a dog. One day he hears a certain note of the call which is familiar to him and as he follows it, he encounters a timber wolf howling on an open place.

  2. Suicide is a desperate act and in this short story yellow by Peter Carty, ...

    I think that what he is most afraid of is not the fact that he could drown, no; it is the fact that he would find himself devoured of emptiness. "You could lose yourself in that, swallowed up and gone forever, a speck vanishing in the blue without sound or ripple.

  1. I was delighted to realise that what the ghost story depended on more than ...

    to be "happy and secure as a child in the nursery" this is an odd and very ironic sentence to use, but is deliberate, as we later discover that the nursery in "Eel Marsh House" is the place which Jennet haunts, and which is unexpectedly unheimlich.

  2. A critical exploration of Irish Society at the end of the 19th century. ...

    Consequently, it is evident that she has married for money and social status, rather than for love. This sort of situation would not have been uncommon in late 19th century Ireland as women would have been strongly encouraged to marry into a wealthy family.

  1. Snowdrops (short story) analysis

    Here are some of these things: He takes an interest in everything around him - he notices how his brother, Geraint, plays with his porridge. He enjoys playing with the other boys. At first he does not understand why Gerald falls over - and only sees what is happening when Edmund points it out.

  2. The Silver Metal Lover - short summary and review

    In the end, Silver developed a soul and returned Jane's love, thereby indicating that Silver is now truly alive. He is a real human as he now has a soul. This is similar to the time when Galatea comes to life, as she was then a real human.

  1. Flannery OConnors A Good Man is Hard to Find is a story about a ...

    The Misfit must see straight though her attempted manipulation. The Misfit, an escaped convict notorious for the bad things he has done to people, has the grandmother and her family at gunpoint; still she is trying to convince him he?s good. We?ve already seen the grandmother call somebody (Red Sammy)

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    One of them is his favorite pigeon which he depicts as ?a young plump-bodied bird? and often plays with by calling ?Pretty, pretty, pretty?. It is without doubt to say that his favorite pigeon is an embodiment of his granddaughter ? Alice.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work