But the story is not really about the affair or Shebe. It is all about Barbara and her need for closeness which unfortunately manifests in a creepy and stalkery manner. It wasn't like she was evil mastermind plotting Sheba's downfall, but it was much more subtle than that, and you don't really know if she meant to do the things she did out of malice or was just carried away... Anyway, although it is undeniable that she was creepy, I felt so sad for her and the long stretch of nothingness which was her life. The scandal gave her something she had been looking for, someone who needs her and who will stay with her. Forever. So yeah, she's pretty creepy.
Monday, March 28, 2011
# 15 Notes on A Scandal by Zoe Heller
Barbara Covett is one weird duck. She is writing an account after the fact of a scandal, one she is closely associated with. But in writing about the incident, she is clearly writing more and more about herself. Barbara Covett is a lonely spinster teacher. No close friends or love interest or family in sight. She develops an unlikely friendship with the new pottery teacher, Sheba Hart, a well-off, kind of ditzy, and glamorous (for Barbara anyway) woman. Sheba is ill equipped for the rough and tumble school she is teaching in and falls into an affair with her 17 year old student. Barbara, though she initially did not know about the affair, soon does and therein lies the story.