The Girls of Slender Means by Murial Spark is a novel
about the girls who lived in the May of Teck Club during the year of 1945. There are many characters involved, but the
one’s who caught my attention the most are Jane Wright and Joanna Childe. They represent different aspects of ideas,
lifestyles and, also, have different perspectives on the
“World of Books.”
Joanna Childe was the daughter of a country rector. She
was very intelligent, had “...strong obscure emotions” (8), and “...religious strength” (165). She was very well build. “Joanna Childe was large...” (9), “... fair and healthy-looking...” (22). She had light shiny hair, blue eyes and deep-pink cheeks. She never used a scrap of
make-up because she didn’t really care about her looks and she wasn’t looking for a husband either.
Jane Wright, on the other hand, was very fat and felt
miserable about it. She tried to blame her work for her
appetite. “...[she] was miserable about her fatness and spent much of her time in eager dread of the next meal, and in making resolutions what to eat of it and what to leave,
and in making counter-resolutions in view of the fact
that her work at the publisher’s was essentially mental, which meant that her brain had to be fed more than most
people’s” (35-36). Unlike Joanna, Jane “...was on the look-out for a husband,...” (32) since she was only twenty two years old.
Joanna’s and Jane’s occupations evolved around the world of books. However, they had different perspectives
about it. Jane worked for a publisher and Joanna attended a school of drama to be a teacher of elocution. Jane
thought of the publishing business as “...essentially disinterest[ing]” (39), while Joanna chose her profession because of her love for...