Heiley Durst: “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield

“Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield

29 Июл 2021 в 05:27pm

“Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield


Still, thinking over which is the best statement of the theme of "miss brill"? Then this article is for you! Read and relax!


There is a good saying that pride comes before the fall. “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield is a good example of this quote. Yet, there are more interesting topics raised in this story. Everybody can relate to “Miss Brill”, because such notions as loneliness, the feeling of apparent independence, rejection, illusion versus reality, and escapism are at times close to every reader. The purpose of this essay is to state and prove that Katherine Mansfield starts to write the story in the Third Person Limited Omniscient point of view, switching from the narration to the Dramatic style by the end of the story.


The current short story is about an old woman who visits the local park every Sunday and listens to the music band. She enjoys observing the people around her. Mansfield does not give many details on Miss Brill’s persona, but one can come to a certain conclusion. She is a noble woman of limited means who does not have a lot of friends. During weekdays, she teaches English and reads the newspaper for the old disabled gentleman while he sleeps in the garden. The events of the story are described only from Miss Brill’s point of view, thus letting the reader understand her vision of the world.


Every object and event that surrounds Miss Brill gives a clue about her nature and state. The fur she takes out of the closet every Sunday is described as rogue. It is ironic, as Miss Brill is very attached to this article of clothing. The fur represents the type of adventure that her life lacks most. It is also a symbol of a man, or a husband, whom she does not have either. The fur lives the same story as Miss Brill does. It lives in a dark small room. The nose of the fur has a knock, as well as Miss Brill, when some boy in the park calls her “stupid old thing” and “silly old mug”. When she returns it to the box, the fur cries for the destruction, while Miss Brill cries for her hurt soul.


Miss Brill does not pay much attention to the band music, as her main goal in coming to the park is to participate in other people’s lives. She is excited to overhear the conversations of people around her without seeming to do so. Her point of view affects the state of all the events and people surrounding her. For instance, when she eavesdrops the conversation of the married couple, she wants “to shake” the wife. Miss Brill is frustrated that the woman despises the companionship of her husband. The young soldiers and their girlfriends evoke the feelings of admiration and envy at the same time. Though Miss Brill is in the thick of events, she is separated from others by the invisible transparent wall of her loneliness and despair.


Miss Brill occupies her special seat in the park every Sunday, starts her walk from home at a specific time, and takes part in the events which occur. This is no accident, as all the people appear to be actors on a stage, and Miss Brill is herself a part of the performance. This realization comes closer to the end of the story. It is also a moment when the Third Person Limited Omniscient point of view transforms into the dramatic narration. The author reveals to a reader the real picture of events. The desire to escape from reality and to forget about the loneliness becomes apparent. Miss Brill decides not to buy a slice of honey-cake, thus breaking an eternal tradition and pace of things. When she puts her fur back to the cupboard, one may guess she would never wear it again.


In conclusion, “Miss Brill” is a magnificent, yet a very sad story about loneliness, rejection, and escapism. Katherine Mansfield chose a highly relevant heroine to convey the main idea. The Third Person Limited Omniscient point of view helps the reader to look at the world through Miss Brill’s eyes and to feel all the emotions she experiences, thus providing a coherent and relatable story.


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