Notes on a scandal book essay

The power dynamics in the relationship between Connolly and Sheba are changing, with Connolly's interest in the affair waning as Sheba's grows.

notes on a scandal book pdf

When Bathsheba "Sheba" Hart is hired as an art teacher, Barbara immediately feels that they might become close friends. A secret agenda colours her every action. Within months of her arrival, Sheba, a mother of two and the apparently contented wife of a lecturer 20 years her senior, is copulating with the grammatically challenged adolescent on the art-room floor.

Notes on a scandal book quotes

Sheba's relationship with Polly deteriorates further when the girl's unruly behaviour results in her expulsion from her boarding school. The novel is narrated by Barbara Covett, the self-appointed chronicler of Sheba's affair, whose alarming zeal when undertaking her task includes the use of gold stars to highlight seminal events and a timeline on graph paper. Whether Barbara ever intended to have her notes published is unclear, but her altruistic claim is quickly subject to question when you realize she seems to be writing her account on the affair more for her own personal enjoyment than anything else. Standing by the fallen woman is her co-worker Barbara Covett, a veteran teacher in her early 60's. Within months of her arrival, Sheba, a mother of two and the apparently contented wife of a lecturer 20 years her senior, is copulating with the grammatically challenged adolescent on the art-room floor. It is hard to decide whether her impulses stem from suppressed Sapphism, maternal frustration, or out-and-out lunacy. Even when the reader can see these consequences advancing as though in slow motion, we shield our eyes from the impen Move over Stephen King, now this is scary shit. Another teacher, Brian, invites Barbara to lunch one day. Her husband demands that she leave the family home and prevents her from seeing their children, especially their son Ben, who has Down syndrome ; Polly, meanwhile, refuses to have any contact with her. Except it's not.

Even this new found evidence of Connolly's loss of interest in her is not enough for Sheba to cease her obsession of him, and she pines for him even knowing she will never hear from him again. Another teacher, Brian, invites Barbara to lunch one day.

By the end, in one glorious inversion, Barbara has become mother to the middle-aged "celebrity deviant", who now naps on a princess bed and eats nursery food. Because Notes on a Scandal is also an interesting exploration of the themes of loneliness and self-repression and of the negative effects they can have on a person even if these are portrayed in the novel in a somewhat extreme fashion.

Notes on a scandal themes

This novel is searingly accurate in its study of human relationships and values and is utterly unforgettable. Sheba, on the other hand, has begun to start flirting with a student, Steven Connolly , and soon after begins an affair with him. It's a recognizable snit-fit of ''enough about you, what about me'' that pushes Barbara into her final betrayal. It's a quiet little read - yet horribly addictive. Sheba is distraught and looks to Connolly for comfort, but when she turns up at his house, she learns that he is now in a relationship with another younger girl. College graduates, some of them. Standing by the fallen woman is her co-worker Barbara Covett, a veteran teacher in her early 60's.

Sheba is distraught and looks to Connolly for comfort, but when she turns up at his house, she learns that he is now in a relationship with another younger girl. Nudging retirement age, Barbara, a colleague and friend of Sheba's, is a childless spinster who has taught history for several decades and lives in Archway with her cat.

Notes on a scandal narrator

Sheba also states that her marriage has been in difficulty. But her voice as a "caretaker George's, a comprehensive high school in north London, she's thoroughly unprepared for the disciplinary demands of the job. We're held at one emotional remove throughout by the novel's narrator, and immediately told how the affair ends, effectively puncturing all potential for thrilling tension. Sheba, on the other hand, has begun to start flirting with a student, Steven Connolly , and soon after begins an affair with him. However, Barbara also makes herself quite likeable with her wry humour taking on every subject from the perception of a single, rather plain, middle aged woman in the world to the politics of working in the modern education system. The minute Barbara begins to mark high points of her growing friendship with Sheba with gold stars, we know that, in the proud tradition of unreliable narrators everywhere, Barbara will turn out to be no sentinel of sanity but a bit passionate and unpredictable herself. During Barbara's first visit to Sheba's residence, she tells Barbara a highly expurgated version of what has happened between her and Connolly, claiming only that he has tried to kiss her and that she discouraged his advances.

Overall, Barbara makes a wonderful narrator, not just with her observations on the story itself and on her friendship with Sheba, but with her musings on life as a whole.

The novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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But of course it is.

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