Similarities And Differences Between Miss Manill And Miss Brill

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Katherine Mansfield, author of “Miss Brill”, and Eudora Welty, author of “A Worn Path”, differ in their writing techniques, as well as, the portrayal of the two different women in the titles mentioned. “Miss Brill”, by Katherine Mansfield, is a woman, with a sense of entitlement, passing judgement during her traditional Sunday morning in the park. She later becomes upset when a young couple passes judgement on her. Phoenix Jackson, of “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, is the complete opposite character of Miss Brill. Jackson is a selfless, elderly woman, frail and losing her senses, who makes reoccurring trips to her ill Grandson’s doctor’s office to pick up a prescription. As a woman ages, despite the struggles that she has faced throughout…show more content…
The class in society becomes evident quickly in “Miss Brill” in the first paragraph when Mansfield speaks of the weather and Miss Brill is “glad she had decided on her fur” (1). Phoenix Jackson is an uneducated, poor, black woman with the strength that the nurse and reception at the doctor’s office should strive to exhibit “I’m an old woman without an education” (Welty, 141). The biggest difference between the two women though is not their class in society or the color of the skin; it is the difference between their strengths. Miss Brill is weak and uses her judgmental behavior as a defense mechanism. Mansfield finally lets the reader realize the weakness when a young couple sits down in the park and starts to judge Miss Brill, giving her a taste of her own medicine, “why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home” (5)? When Miss Brill overhears the judgments pass about her, she quickly goes home, passing her usual stops along the way and puts her fur away “but when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying” (Mansfield, 5). Phoenix proves to the reader the strength that she holds in numerous circumstances. Walking along the path, with no help from her senses, a white male hunter points a gun to her face, she defines strength, “no, sir, I seen plenty go off closer…show more content…
In “A Worn Path”, Phoenix has taken the journey for several years and has come to know the trip so well that she uses her sense and memory to guide her “putting her foot out, she mounted the log and closed her eyes” (Welty, 136). Her end result is the doctor’s office to collect her grandson’s prescription. Before turning around to go home, she extends her path and proceeds, with her old, frail body, to buy her grandson a paper windmill “he going to find it hard to believe there is such a thing in the world” (Welty, 13). Despite her long journey she continues to bring home to joy to her grandson. A different path is portrayed in “Miss Brill”. An elder, wealthy white woman sets out to enjoy her traditional Sunday ritual that ends with embarrassment and sadness when a young couple passing judgement on her, the same way she was doing moments before, to others. Shortly after the couple arrives at the park, Miss Brill assumes that the couple “just arrived from his father’s yacht” (Mansfield, 5). She begins to sulk when she overhears the couples speaking about her and her beloved fur “but to-day she passed the baker’s by, climbed the stairs, went into the little dark room – her room like cupboard – and sat down on the red eiderdown” (Mansfield,5). The reader can only imagine
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