Comparing 'Miss. Brill And The Destructors'

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Old Misery and Miss. Brill
Throughout quarter three, our class has read four short stories, each one portraying human behaviors. I am comparing and contrasting two characters from “Miss. Brill” by Katherine Mansfield and “The Destructors” by Graham Greene. Miss. Brill and Old Misery or Mr. Thomas have many similarities and differences including the internal forces that affect them and the external forces that make them who they are.
Miss. Brill is an older woman who is depicted as lonely because she sits by herself in the park and listens in on other people's conversations. Mansfield says, “This was disappointing, for Miss. Brill always looked forward to the conversation. She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though …show more content…

Old Misery holds onto his house and Miss. Brill holds onto her fur coat. In the story “The Destructors” a gang of teenagers goes to Old Misery’s house and destroys it, making the walls come down from the inside. The gang spends hours destroying his home, “The interior of the house was being carefully demolished without touching the outer walls. Summers with hammer and chisel was ripping out the skirting-boards in the ground floor dining room... In the same room Joe was heaving up the parquet blocks.. and Mike sat happily on the floor, clipping the wires” (8). The gang ripped apart Old Misery’s house with happiness even though it was a bad thing. This idea is similar to Miss. Brill except two young teenagers “knock down” her favorite thing, the fur coat, using words. “ ‘But why? Because of that stupid old thing at the end there?’ ‘Why does she come here at all-who wants her? Why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home’ ” (3)? When the boy says “stupid old thing” he is referring to Miss. Brill. Both characters are also similar in the way that they try to suppress their loneliness using objects instead of people that can bring them real …show more content…

Brill and Old Misery is the way that they wanted interaction. Old Misery didn't want interaction with the gang and he tried to get them to leave him alone. Miss. Brill was constantly trying to make conversation with the people in the park but instead of talking she would sit and listen to everyone else’s conversations. Greene says that the gang views Old Misery like this, “ 'Of course I don't hate him,' T. said. 'There'd be no fun if I hated him.' The last burning note illuminated his brooding face. 'All this hate and love,' he said,' it's soft, it’s hooey. There's only things, Blackie,' and he looked round the room crowded with the unfamiliar shadows of half things, broken things, former things’ ”(2). It is very strange how the boys didn’t hate Old Misery, they just wanted to break and burn

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