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The Illusion of Youth Essay

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Katherine Mansfield’s Miss. Brill written in 1920 is a short story a part of Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories. It is a short story about a middle-aged teacher, who finds joy in spending her Sunday afternoons, sitting in the park. At the park, she finds joy in observing others around her and pretending, they are all actors and actresses on a stage. Miss. Brill finds joy in the illusion that she creates at the park. She is a woman, who lives a very humdrum life and finds joy creating an unrealistic world, where she envisions herself as an actress. She uses illusion as not only an escape from her reality but also from herself. Miss. Brill creates an illusion in order to escape the reality that she is losing her youth.
Although, Miss. Brill is knowledgeable of the world, where she imagines that she isn’t really an actress, she continues to spend her Sunday afternoons in the park where she has created an unrealistic world for herself. In the illusion that Miss. Brill creates to escape the reality that she is losing her youth, she tries to preserve reminders of her youth such as the fur. During her afternoons, in the park, Miss. Brill chooses to wear her fur. The fur for her is a reminder of her past. It is a reminder of the days when she was younger. It makes her feel good to wear the fur because of the memories it brings back to her. She states, “Dear little thing! It was nice to feel it again” (Mansfield 1). She cherishes the fur and is very fond of it perhaps because of the memories she has created during the times when she wore it. The fur reminds her of her youth. It is the reason that she has kept it in her possession for so long. The fur is a symbol of her youth. She has managed to keep the fur despite aging. It...


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...r fur and goes to have an enjoyable evening at the park, when this young couple comes along and ruins her evening. After further analysis of the text, Miss. Brill can actually be examine as very hypocritical because not only does she often make impolite statements about other people in the park but she isn’t exactly the nicest person because she spends her Sunday afternoons, listening to other people’s conversations. She gets a thrill out of eavesdropping on other’s conversation and when they aren’t interesting enough to her, she becomes annoyed with them and hopes that they leave. Mansfield after a more in-depth analysis makes the reader evaluates the sympathy that is felt for Miss. Brill. Once the illusion are taken away and she is evaluate for the person that she is in reality, it is found that she is not just a bored woman, who enjoys afternoons in the park.





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