Essay about Review and Character Analysis of Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

Essay about Review and Character Analysis of Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

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The character, Miss Brill, lives in a fantasy world that hides her aging and loneliness. Throughout the story denial of the character is depicted through her actions and interactions with others. Miss Brill spends her Sunday afternoon seated on a park bench. She watches others around her and pretends that they are all actors in a play; this vividly expresses Miss Brill's fantasy and denial, as do other importances in the story. In, "Miss Brill", Mansfield creates an elderly character that lives in a fantasy world.

Miss Brill is a character of familiarity and routine. Each Sunday she spends the afternoon in the park watching and listening in on others lives. Knowing the details and flaws in others, as well as her surroundings, boosts her self esteem. The band and the scenery play a larger role in the life of Miss Brill. Throughout the story, the band's tempo and speed is mentioned: "And the band changed again and played more quickly, more gaily than ever" (273). In the fantasy life of Miss Brill, the band plays the roll of an accessory in her play: "Wasn't the conductor wearing a new coat, too? She was sure it was new." (271). Miss Brill does not personally know the conductor of the band, but she notices something as simple as his new coat. This shows how familiar Miss Brill is with the band. Familiarity is something Miss Brill strives for throughout the entire story, and this is most evident when she talks about the band and the scenery of "her play."

Miss Brill shares her Sunday seat, "her special seat," with only two other people. (271). This couple reflects Miss Brill in a way that she also sits there as still as a statue. The old couple that sat on the other end of the bench were as "still as statues" (271). She was ups...


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...ions and never stops to think that others can do the same. These statements devastate her; it begins to shoe her that people can judge her and make assumptions just as she does. The incident with the young boy and girl was like holding a mirror in front of Miss Brill to show her true self.

Miss Brill's fantasy is crushed by the judgments of the young boy and girl. She can no longer deny that she is aging and alone in her world. Seeing herself for what she truly is devastated her. She went straight home and replaced the fur back in the box. When she put the lid back on, it was as though "she heard something cry." (273). It was like putting the lid on her fantasy world.

Works Cited

Mansfield, Katherine." Miss Brill."Freshmen Reader.Mason: Custom Publishing, 2004.Parknet.National Park Service.12 Dec. 1999 http://www.nps.gov/.

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