"They do it with mirrors" - a problem.

I'm rereading "They do it with mirrors" and there is something bothering me. After a couple of days of visiting, Miss Marple asks Carrie-Louise whether she has any worries. She answers: "...I've never been able to alter people - I don't see how you can. So it wouldn't be any good worrying, would it?" 

But if she feels people can't be altered, how is is that she supports an institute that is dedicated to changing young delinquents? Her statement fits the conclusion of the whole book SPOILER - that the chief idealist turns out to also be a master criminal - but not her behavior before and during most of the story.

Anyone have any explanation?

By the way, as some of you know, I'm hooked on comparisons between books by different mystery writers. Well, in Ellis Peters' "Rainbow's End" there is mention of a school for young delinquents, with pretty much the same philosophy - that many juvenile delinquents are bright but need chalanging and channeling. There the school did it's job - students turned out well, and the character who is an alumni of the school is actually an actor - but the school closed because of lack of funds. Ironic, considering that in TDIWM lack of funds for the school is at the bottom of the crime. 


  • It could be that Carrie Louise supported anything that her husband did and stood behind him through her actions but in thought maybe she didn't believe people could be changed. 

    Another deduction I could possibly make is when Carrie Louise said, "I've never been able to alter people", she seems to be talking mainly about herself and not the institution, based on the indication that she said "I". She couldn't change people but that didn't mean that anything or anyone outside of herself could. She tells Miss Marple, "I don't see how you can." And when she adds this, I can't find any explanation or a loop-hole . . . .unless . . . . it seems to me that the first deduction is the one that makes the most sense to me. 
  • Yes, that does make sense. Also that it is very important for Carrie-Louise to do good for others, so that even if she doesn't believe it can help she won't go aginst it. But it still seems odd to me. Maybe it is because at that time it was more the rule for a woman to support her husband, no matter what he does.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I agree, SPOILER ALERT! It was her Husband who thought the boys could be changed and she was a loyal wife who supported him in his Endeavours no matter how much she had reservations.
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