Miss Brill

Length: 3 Pages 686 Words

The short story “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield is about and elderly English teacher in France who spends her Sundays in the park. She is very lonely and has a specific bench that she sits on every week where she listens to the band and watches people pass by. Due to her lack of relationships, she has created a fantasy life for herself in which she believes that she is a much more glamorous woman than what she really is. Mansfield uses this story to describe how many elderly people deal with the aging process by denying their appearances and circumstances. Miss Brill owns a fur, which she treats as if it were a pet, apparently to compensate for her loneliness and her lack of connection with others. She calls the fur a “rogue” with “sad eyes” as if the fur had emotions or a personality. She overlooks what she thinks are insignificant blemishes like its nose. She says she will add “a little dab of sealing wax when the time came.” The fur is a representation of how she sees her self. S Continue...


Then the boy calls her an ugly old thing that nobody wants. The ermine toque that the woman is wearing is described as being bought when the woman's hair was yellow. Once Miss Brill arrives at her home, which is then described using the same terms that Miss Brill uses herself in describing all of the other old people in the park. This leads the reader to believe that both the woman's hair and the fur had changed with time. Mansfield uses a second couple to bring Miss Brill and the reader a true definition of reality. Her feelings are hurt and she hurries off, skipping her normal Sunday afternoon stop at the bakery. he overlooks the flaw in herself that have come from age. Many elderly people are like Miss Brill. Miss Brill sees a woman with an ermine toque who seems to be a mirror image of herself, and that helps define her further. The girl says "It is her fu-fur which is so funny and that "It's exactly like a fried whiting. When she go to him and starts chattering away she is quickly dismissed with a puff of smoke in the face. A lot of people lose many of the relationships that they have had over the years. She overhears the couple making fun of her. They looked like they had come from dark little rooms or "even cupboards.