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

A selfish and bitter old woman. To what extent would you agree that this is a valid assessment of Barbara, as she is portrayed in Notes on a Scandal" by Zoe Heller?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Notes on a Scandal "A selfish and bitter old woman". To what extent would you agree that this is a valid assessment of Barbara, as she is portrayed in "Notes on a Scandal?" I strongly agree that Barbara Covett is a selfish and bitter old woman for many reasons. One being the name that Zo� Heller chose to give her; Barbara Covett, which means to desire wrongfully without thinking of others. "From time to time my colleagues will call me Barb". Already the reader starts to get the impression of this character thinking that she is probably a selfish and bitter, envious old woman. Barbara is an old woman in her sixties and teaches at St. George's school. She's also a very lonely woman with a cat in a small flat on her own, before she meets Sheba. And as we see in the book, she craves for close friendships and will never let go unless she must. We see this when she talks about her long friendship with her "closest friend" at the time, Jennifer Dodd. But we also see that she doesn't fit with all the teachers in the staff room as she has criticised every single one, which shows she is a very sour lonely woman who is unwanted in some sense. ...read more.

Middle

Though she generally looks like a middle class person, she seems to compare and think that she has characteristics which are better than Sheba's and therefore counts herself, in a way, from the upper class, "Any objective comparison would have to rate me the more educated woman, I think". This shows from her point of view, how envious and jealous she is of Sheba. She is such a self-obsessive person and so critical, she constantly compares other people and talks about them and their issues. She criticises people around her not knowing that she is more twisted than them. She slowly starts studying Sheba and her every move as the days go by, seeing her ways, her personality and eventually, her lifestyle. She acts as if she is obsessed with her, and the reader starts to think - with Barbara unmarried at such an age and so masculine - that she might fancy Sheba, the way she describes her: "of course, I thought. She's very good-looking", in other words, she might be lesbian. She wouldn't have wrote the diary if she weren't so keen about Sheba, she mentions every single detail about her, the way Sheba thinks, the way she talks, her body-shape and texture, she basically studies her like she would study history. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Back when I was first getting to know her, Sheba seemed invincibly happy; a modern wonder of contentment. Her life with Richard - the dinner parties, the French holidays, the house buzzing with colleagues and children and ex-wives and family friends. A picnic in Regent's Park, a walk through Highgate Cemetery, a trip to the bethel Green children's museum. It was rare for me to see Sheba alone." This proves that she doesn't have a great social life or even a family to enjoy her time with. In conclusion, Barbara, a wicked old lady, got what she wanted; she won Sheba over and in a way, owned her. "And she knows, by now, not to go too far without me". Despite the feud Sheba had with her over the acknowledgment of the diary, Barbara found a way to keep her, she is so selfish that she won't let go, she wants to be with someone; she doesn't care about Sheba as much as she cares about being left alone, and worse, she lies to her every day, by writing that diary. "We don't have secrets, Sheba and I". ?? ?? ?? ?? Anmar Teraifi 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Other Authors essays

  1. 'No reader of The Woman in Black Can be left in doubt about its ...

    Arthur describes its 'air of remoteness and isolation which makes us feel ourselves to be much further from civilization.' The supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events are a key theme in the Gothic genre and "The Woman in Black" is no exception.

  2. The Intersection of External Time and Internal Time in Mrs Dalloway

    Finally, another aspect of Big Ben is that it represents the masculine time. In short, it is the emblem of order and authority. Indeed, the sound of this clock is described as that of "a young man, strong, indifferent, inconsiderate . . . swinging dumb-bells this way and that" (52).

  1. Cal by Bernard Mac Laverty - Critical Evaluation

    This quote also shows how ignorant the UVF are, as they have spelt "fenyan" wrongly. This leads to Cal and his father being fearful, for example: "...Shamie was putting the gun beneath his pillow and climbing into bed" This shows that Cal's father has to keep a weapon underneath his pillow as there is a constant threat of violence.

  2. How are traditional American values portrayed in this post-apocalyptic world of Cormac McCarthys The ...

    the sense of community and the 'love thy neighbour' ethic for which America is renowned. In the book, the few people the man and child come across are treated with utter caution or are avoided altogether and people who need help are ignored.

  1. Do you think that Henry James wrote The Turn of the Screw as a ...

    The second sighting of Quint comes relatively soon after the first, and the governess is adamant that it is the same person that appeared to her atop the tower - suggesting, perhaps, that she is being haunted. She then proceeds to place herself in the position of Quint, at which

  2. Women in 'Tickets please' and 'Turned' behave in an unacceptable and unreasonable manner, how ...

    This definition is that John Thomas has "Recklessness" about him, no concern for his reputation. The society then also felt that men should be faithful, this of which John Thomas wasn't. We are also given facts to question if Annie is in a current relationship when she says, "She had

  1. Are Lord And Lady Capulet Good Parents?

    fakir that "wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their own sorrow" which is also the moral of the story and their "light laughter jarred somewhat" using alliteration to give a light feel as they laughed uncomfortably at what he said.

  2. From your study of three Sherlock Holmes cases, what do you consider to be ...

    These facts can make the reader think that whoever the cravat belonged to played a part in the crime and maybe attacked him with a knife. It turned out that Fitzroy Simpson, the owner of the cravat was not involved in the crime.

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