International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Paranoia and Agency in Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Pesheng Abdalstar Salih

This article argues that Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie fictionalizes generated paranoia and the loss of agency and individuality due to being watched constantly during the Cold War. The novel challenges the suspension of democratic rights during the period and the use propaganda as a tool for social control. It exposes the propaganda used during the Cold War and its influence on the creation of docile bodies through institutions. Moreover, this article argues that Spark not only questions the totalitarianism of the Communist Soviet Union, but she also castigates infringement of civil and democratic rights under surveillance in the UK during the period. It shows how the novel uses fiction and propogandist techniques, such as black propaganda, to counteract forces of state power and defy the generated paranoia.

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