Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 4(5), pp. 313 - 319
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040501
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'Jealousy Envy, Envious Jealousy': Muriel Spark's The Finishing School

Wojciech Kozak *
English Department, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland


In her last novel, The Finishing School, Muriel Spark focuses on the emotions of envy and jealousy, presenting them in the literary and erotic contexts. Set in an itinerant institution called College Sunrise, the story revolves around the tragicomic relationship between the school's owner, Rowland Mahler, who teaches creative writing classes but at the same time experiences writer's block while working on his own novel, and his 17-year-old student called Chris Wiley, who finds it extremely easy to produce brilliant fiction despite his very young age and disregard for any theory of writing. Rowland's envious feelings about Chris as a writer are accompanied by the jealousy that stems from the sexual interest the young student arouses in his teacher. This paper examines the envy/jealousy-based relationship between the novel's two central characters as presented both on the professional and interpersonal level (Rowland and Chris as writers and lovers) in relation to the author's exposure of the mean traits of human nature, criticism of social institutions, employment of irony, and exploration of metafictional problems.

Muriel Spark, Envy, Jealousy, Creative Writing, Creative Process

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Wojciech Kozak , "'Jealousy Envy, Envious Jealousy': Muriel Spark's The Finishing School," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 313 - 319, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040501.

(b). APA Format:
Wojciech Kozak (2016). 'Jealousy Envy, Envious Jealousy': Muriel Spark's The Finishing School. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(5), 313 - 319. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040501.