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You Should Have Seen the Mess

  • Date Submitted: 12/24/2012 04:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.3 
  • Words: 972
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Dame Muriel Spark, DBE (1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006) was an award-winning Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945". She was born Muriel Sarah Camberg in Edinburgh, Muriel Spark was identified as a promising and creative writer when her name was still Muriel Camberg and she was still at school. Some of her poems had already been published by the time she won her first poetry prize, at the age of 12. Dame Muriel – poet, writer of fiction and literary criticism, and biographer – went on to win most of the literary awards going, was never out of print, and was at the top of her profession, internationally, for more than half a century. Best-known as the author of 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie', Muriel decided in the 1940s to keep a record of her professional and personal activities, beginning a personal archive that is now one of the largest and most comprehensive held by the National Library of Scotland.
You should have seen the mess.
The author of the story has chosen the first person narration. The narrator, Lorna, tries to make the best of things by criticizing others.   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. 'The refrain from the title, "you should have seen the mess" is repeated in this way, to discount things the narrator cannot be a part of or doesn’t understand.   Mess is used as an excuse to leave things. For example, Lorna feels uncomfortable in her first job, so she...

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