Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

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“The method a writer takes to bring a character to life” is defined as characterization. "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield displays the character of Miss Brill as the protagonist, confronted with the reality of her existence. In the short story "Miss Brill," by Katherine Mansfield, an elderly woman spends a Sunday afternoon visiting a seaside park as part of her weekly ritual. As a developing character, Miss Brill is forced to face a harsh reality from her routine events. In the short story, "Miss Brill," Katherine Mansfield effectively uses various literary techniques to characterize Miss Brill's complex and interesting character. Mansfield illustrates Miss Brill as an elderly woman in denial from old age and her lack of human interactions. Through the effective use of diction, imagery, and symbolism, Mansfield expresses qualities of Miss Brill as lonely, critical, and fragile. Miss Brill’s main quality of loneliness is seen through events described by Mansfield. Throughout the short story of “Miss Brill,” it is difficult to understand Miss Brill because she does not understand herself. She has adapted to a routine lifestyle, in which every Sunday she would spend the entire afternoon at the local park in isolation. In her mind, everyone around her is a part of her simple imagination when in fact Miss Brill only sits alone seemingly frantically in search of companionship. “Only two people share her "special" seat: a fine old man in a velvet coat… and a big old woman, sitting upright, with a roll of knitting on her embroidered apron. They did not speak. This was disappointing, for Miss Brill always looked forward to the conversation” (201). Seen through the eyes of Miss Brill, this is a sad and pathetic existence. Mansfield il... ... middle of paper ... ... remains to be in denial by personifying human characteristics in her fur. Indeed, the insult effected her false perception of her world and ended her illusion of reality. The events though Miss Brill’s Sunday afternoon shatter her unique illusion of reality, and bring and end to her daily routines. Mansfield forces Miss Brill to realize her true self-character. Miss Brill is temporarily able to avoid her loneliness by developing a false image and experiencing her life though a “manuscript” (202). She ultimately comes to a realization based on slender occurrence. In the short story, "Miss Brill," Katherine Mansfield effectively uses various literary techniques to characterize Miss Brill's complex and interesting character. Through the effective use of diction, imagery, and symbolism, Mansfield expresses qualities of Miss Brill as lonely, critical, and fragile.
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