8th June '17
I'm not sure there's enough space on Toppsta to express how much I loathe this book.
The story revolves around Felicity, head of Upper Fourth at Mallory Towers. Felicity's must learn to identify the character defects of herself and her classmates in order that everyone becomes a worthy student of Mallory Towers, perfectly exhibiting the Mallory Towers ethos.
To this end she must coral her clique of friends to pass judgement on the character of other students, deliver lessons to be learnt, meet out punishment and when deserved bestow favour.
This she does and instead of meeting violent resistance, is rewarded with total subservience.
A typical reaction goes something along the lines of: 'Oh Felicity, you are so right, I have been so wrong. I know it's only my own fault if you and your friends hate me. I will try to be better. Maybe next term you'll see a new me. And thank you because now you have shown me how wrong I've been, I really do think I can become a true Mallory Towers girl.'
Where do I start with the vile wrongness of it all?
Let's kick off with the celebration of this anointed clique of golden girls assuming some god given right to pronounce judgement on others. I am appalled the author set them up as the heroines of the story to be admired and copied. We all know the vicious impact that kind of clique can have those on the outside. I want to teach my daughter to have no truck with this kind of thing.
And how dare their mission of character reformation be celebrated? They deserve only to be humiliated and humbled for their self righteous superiority, each patronising pronouncement derided and ridiculed.
But I'm reserving my bitterest disdain for the Mallory Towers ethos. Running through the public school system like writing through a stick of rock is the intent of protecting the privilege of an established few.
Of course this naked self interest is an embarrassment so we must pretend that the established few have some great virtue that singles them out, that they display superior behaviour and class to others aspiring to this privilege.
The carrot is dangled that if only you could attain these qualities you too would be on the inside. Pretenders to the inner circle are asked to conform to the ideal.
But it's a lie. Money and class are the ticket to this gig not virtue.
I reject it. I object. I hope others will too.