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Miss Brill Essay

  • Submitted by: EffyEffy
  • on March 21, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 633 words

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Below is an essay on "Miss Brill" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

This short story is narrated in the third person from the point of view of the limited omniscient narrator who primarily acts as the voice of the story’s protagonist, Miss Brill. By telling the story through the eyes of the protagonist, Mansfield is able to convey to the reader the protagonist’s loneliness and the lack of self-awareness. She offers no explanation as to the Miss Brill’s past, leaving it to the readers to draw their own conclusions. At the same time the author provides illuminating insights into the protagonist’s character and lifestyle that effectively communicate to the reader the theme of this short story. The central theme of “Miss Brill” is the pain of loneliness, and inadvertent attempts to experience life through the experiences of total strangers.
    From the beginning of the narrative it becomes apparent that Miss Brill is starving for warmth and companionship. She tenderly caresses her fur as if it were a beloved pet when she rubbs “the life into the dim little eyes” (p.50) of the old fox boa. Another sign of Miss Brill’s need for companionship is evident in her perception of the music which the band is playing at the Jardins Publiques: “It was like some one playing with only the family to listen (p.50).” Despite of her loneliness, she is considering herself a part of this family that the band is entertaining with its music. But in reality she is more of an observer, a voyeur, and not an active participant in life as it unfolds at the Jardins Publiques. She is looking forward to eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, believing herself to be quite an expert in remaining unnoticed. Miss Brill adopts a more critical, at times even hostile, attitude toward the women that she observes in the park than toward their male companions: she views the man who shares her “special” seat as “a fine old man,” while the woman is “a big old woman (p.50).” When she recollects the events of the previous Sunday at the park, she remembers a patient...

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Miss Brill. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://trenmayamx.com/free-essays/Miss-Brill-189937.html