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However, Maureen gets a big shock when she sets foot in Malory Towers and meets the rest of her form (fifth) and her ‘best friend’ Gwendoline Mary Lacey. Even though they were friends at the beginning of In The Fifth At Malory Towers, Gwen slowly began to see herself as the others saw her, as Maureen had the same undesirable qualities that Gwen never knew before she possessed. Gwen made quite a good impression on Maureen when they met, but they soon were stuck in a rivalry with each other about the Fifth Form play‘s main part (Cinderella).
At the start of term, Maureen imagined herself as the princess in the unknown play the Fifth Form were obligated to plan, not realising that Gwen had quite the same ideas about the play. As a result, both girls were caught with long, draped veils and duvets surrounding their body, pretending to be a Cinderella with a mass of glorious hair in their dorm. However, when Moira (head of the Fifth) discovered their lofty ideas, the Fifth were efficiently informed that Gwen and Maureen weren’t meant to be the princess at all. Eventually, they were both put in the servants’ chorus where they were often caught out by Moira, who made them sang in front of everyone once and get humiliated dreadfully by Moira’s well known sharp tongue.
During half term, Mrs Lacey and Miss Winter (Gwen’s old governess) meets Maureen and approves strongly of her, as her conceited personality matched Gwen’s exactly! That was when Gwen slowly discovered the truth about her personality, which dawned on her slowly but surely. Gwendoline later began to change her silly laugh and pause the airs and graces she once had, but was was no use, as everyone had lost trust for Gwen years ago. Maureen, meanwhile, never noticed a thing.
Maureen was the start to Gwendoline’s change of behavior; without her she would still be the vain, selfish creature she was throughout the majority of her time at Malory Towers.