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The Black Madonna by Muriel Spark

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Hannes Harms Zum Spreckel

on 14 May 2014

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Transcript of The Black Madonna by Muriel Spark


The couple lives in a town where the majority is religious and prays

British people are religious

Text passages which enhance these points:

Lou praying that Oxford hopefully leaves the town
Lou thinking that her sister is at least not black after Henry's comment about Lou's sister
Lou being tremendously upset when she realized her child was black
The minor characters calling the black guys “nigger“

What does the text reflect about British Society?

Lou and Raymond try to be exceptions by becoming friends with black "guys" but still show signs of racism (mainly Lou)

Neighbours of the couple call the black guys “nigger“
-> prejudices and racism
What does the text reflect about British Society?
What does the text reflect about British Society?
Main Conflicts
Presented by
Pascal Stiemer
Serhat Yaman
Johannes Harms

The Black Madonna
by Muriel Spark

*1st February 1918

author career started in 1947

1954 conversion to Catholicism

became Dame Commander
of the Order of the Brithish Empire

died in 2006 (88 years old)

The Author – Muriel Spark

1. The Author

2. Summary of the Short Story

3. The Main Problems

4. What does the text reflect about British Society
Protagonists: Lou and Raymond Parker

resident in Whitney Clay

present themselves as liberal minded
Child is black-skinned

Lou turns into racist

Rejects baby and Jamaicans
Jamaican friends: Oxford St. John,
Henry Pierce

Lou believes in the statue: Black Madonna

Statue fulfills their baby-wish
Main Conflict
Temporary attendance is acceptable, but a durable presence of a black skinned person, like Dawn, isn't acceptable (p. 221 / l. 15 ff.)

Problem of reputation because people will question who the actual father is
(p. 226 / l. 9 ff.)

When Dawn came, the disputes increased because of the question where the baby comes from

Acceptance of a black child is ethical question

God's will to give up Dawn for adoption, especially for religious people them?

the couple questions nature of god by receiving a child which doesn’t match to their imagination (p. 221 / l. 20 f.)


Generally it tells that they have prejudices against black people (Lou's neighbour) and are racist but don't show it as long as they don't have to (Lou at the end)
What does the text reflect about British Society?

Short Story
Full transcript