Mrs. Brill by Katherine Mansfield

Mrs. Brill by Katherine Mansfield

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Mrs. Brill by Katherine Mansfield



Mrs. Brill, a short story by Katherine Mansfield, takes place in Jardins Publiques seaside town in France. The story is about an elder lady by the name of Mrs. Brill who frequents a nearby park on Sundays to hear a band play. Before leaving to the park she removed her fur. Shaken of the moth powder and brushing it of Mrs. Brill admired her fur wrap. The tail was placed within its mouth and its black composite nose was no longer firm, giving the impression that the wrap was old. She decided that a little black wax would take care of the nose when it became noticeable and continued on staring and stroking it. Mrs. Brill went to the park and noticed and noted that there were a greater number of visitors this week than last. Being perceptive, she noticed that the band was player with more feeling and at a louder level. Comparing the conductor of the bands movement to that of a rooster and making note of his new coat, Mrs. Brill continued to survey her surrounding gathering every detail. Other items she caught includes; the crowd, flower bends, a beggar, and the big white bows under the flocking children about. She sat next to an old couple on the bench. The misses, a "big old women" wore a embroidered apron and the mister, a "fine old man in a velvet coat", gripping a cane, never spoke a word. Mrs. Brill was upset at this; she enjoyed a good conversation and hoped for the couple to leave. She reminisced of the couple the previous week the women wore a Panama styled hat and nagged about needing spectacles to view the scenery, her husband suggested different styles that may suit her but she carried on stating they would most likely slip off. She didn't find that couple interesting either but felt it was better than the statue like couple sitting in her "special" seat. Her attention to detail was precise; describing everyone her eyes came in contact with, observing changes in people from week to week. The band now turned into an orchestra like musical, performing on stage and everyone including her were actors and actresses. Her feeling and thought were conveyed omnisciently and when a direct emotion wasn't recognized, context clues were used so that the reader may be able to tell how she was feeling.

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After the band took a break they began playing again that gave Mrs. Brill a warm, sunny, and yet a slight chill feeling that moved her, filled her eyes with tears and she gazed amongst the other members of her company. Just then a young couple came to sit down on the bench along with Mrs. Brill. They were in love and she thought of them as the hero and heroine. She listens closely and hears the young lady whisper "No, not now, Not here, I can't" The young man replies "But why? Because of that stupid old thing at the end there" implying Mrs. Brill. He continued on and Mrs. Brill could hear every word, every comment made by the two. Why doesn't she keep her old silly mug at home, and who wants her spewed from the young mans mouth and his girlfriend giggled and replied it was her fur that was so funny. This threw Mrs. Brill off of her natural high. On her way home she did not purchase a slice of honey cake as she normally did. She hurried home, upstairs to her dark room and sat down on her red eiderdown for quite a while. She then unclasped her fur and placed it in the box without looking but as she closed the box, she thought she heard something crying.


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