Miss Brill's fur, the symbol in the short story, is contextual. The fur is a contextual symbol because if the fur were placed in another story, it would not symbolize a lonely woman. According to Saralyn Daly, " When she packs away the furpiece her identification with that object is so complete that the reader fears she weeps and yet is too valiant to acknowledge it" (90). The fur symbolizes Miss Brill's life in the sense that she has put her life in a box, like her fur, and needs a companion to take her out and rub the life back into her. When the sad, little eyes ask "what has been happening to me," those are the thoughts of Miss Brill being brought out through her fur. At the end of the story, in spite of her newly found awareness, Miss Brill denies some of her own emotions when "she thought she heard something crying." The tears are obviously her own, and once again she is feeling emotion through her fur. The connection of passion with the fur is forced into a character Miss Brill acknowledges, and the reader is alert of much more (Berkman 75). The author mentions that Mi...
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