Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield

Sample Essay

Words 967

This short story is narrated in the third person from the point of view narrator. By telling the story through the eyes of the protagonist. Miss Brill is seen as a pariah in society. She is written off as revulsion by a code that denounces her on the basis of sex, age, attractiveness, poverty, and singleness. She offers no explanation as to the Miss Brill’s past, leaving it to the readers to draw their own conclusions. At the same time, the author provides illuminating insights into the character’s personality.

In the story “Miss Brill,” spends her Sunday studying people in a park. Even though unobserved by everyone around her, Miss Brill gets by convincing herself that she is really an indispensable part of the landscape and would be missed if she was not there. Her false impression is destroyed by an unfortunate comment at the end of the story. People she sees every Sunday at the park suggests to the reader that she might be one of those people. The mystery is solved at the end at the end of the story when the protagonist’s room is described as “the little dark room-her room like a cupboard.” This is the conclusion of the story when Miss Brill is able to see herself and her environment in the new light. It does not occur to Miss Brill that she is also one of these “funny old people”; Her new self-awareness is brought about by disparaging remarks of the young lovers who refer to Miss Brill as “that stupid old thing,”

Obviously shocked by her new accepting of her place in life. What this story is trying to illustrate is that sometimes people can be happy through living in an illusion. Miss Brill has no relations, no friends, and no true connection to anyone beyond herself.

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