Advanting And Ilusion In Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

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The short story “Miss Brill” is misleading and illusory. The author, Katherine Mansfield, uses third person limited to take readers along into Miss Brill, the protagonist’s, delusions. The story is set in the 1920’s France, on a nice Sunday afternoon. The tone starts out airy with anticipation as Miss. Brill gears up in her best fur for a day at the “Jardins Publiques”, as Mansfield calls it. Toward the end of the story, the façade brought on by Miss. Brills need to hide from her intolerable reality, breaks and it becomes clear how lonely and wrong Miss. Brill’s reality actually is. The three central themes that will be argued in this paper are loneliness, feelings of rejection and insignificance, and the inadvertent attempts to experience life through elusions. Mansfield never outright expresses Miss. Brill’s deep sense of loneliness, she makes the reader work to understand the character’s hidden emotions. As Marian Mandel indicates in her analysis of “Miss Brill” in Studies in…show more content…
Miss Brill represents a terrifying fear people need to face every day of their lives, rejection. The most prominent form of rejection Miss Brill received during the course of this short essay is from a “beautifully dressed” young couple who sat on the bench next the her. “Why does she come here at all–– who wants her” (170) asks the boy while referring to Miss Brill who could not have been more than a few feet form the couple. This is quite the blow to Miss Brill’s already quite delicate self esteem. Just a page before she thought to herself, “No doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn’t been there” (169). However, this good looking couple is questioning her place at the park. Mansfield’s brutal turn of events is also a way of making the feelings of rejection and insignificance more

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