Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

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In the short story “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield, we learned of an elderly woman who had a routine of visiting a park weekly. This story is narrated in the third person through the voice of Miss Brill so the reader could grasp the feeling of loneliness and lack of awareness. Mansfield never offers any insight to Miss Brill’s past so you are left there to draw your own conclusion about her character. Miss Brill’s weekly routine of visiting the park plays into the central theme, which is the pain of loneliness and sad attempts to mask the pain. Her routine and lifestyle are indicative in understanding who she has become. There is a reason this story is narrated in third person, it’s done this way so you may empathize with Miss Brill. Right from the beginning you can see how she seeks companionship and warmth. When she takes out the fur fox and caresses she says “ Dear little thing! It was nice to feel it again”(p. 65). She has gotten to the point where she looks for warmth anywhere she can find it. Her wanting of a family is apparent in her perception of the music the band was playing: “It was like some one playing with only family to listen” (p.65). The sad reminders of…show more content…
Most of her hostile views were aimed more at women. When describing women she observed at the park with male counterparts; she describes the man sharing her “special” seat as “a fine old man” but describes his wife as “a big old women”. Through her observations of this couple it triggered her memory of the Sunday prior making her recall her observations of a couple. Remembering the “patient Englishman” and his hard to please wife, whom she would like to straggle. Through her observation readers are able to feel the envy she carries against women who had a male lover in their lives. Miss Brill constantly showed signs of knowing her sad place in the

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