Miss Brill - Characterization

Length: 4 Pages 1003 Words

“Miss Brill” - Characterization We live in a real world where real people communicate and interact with one another. However, there are a few people in this world who seem to be out of touch with reality and live their life through dreams like the main character in Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Miss Brill.” In this story, the author uses various ways to fully characterize Miss Brill, and in doing so reveals the many sides and complexity of Miss Brill’s character. In this story the character of Miss Brill is revealed through the details expressed through Miss Brill’s point of view as well as the actions and dialogue of other characters. Mansfield’s use of indirect characterization helps the reader fully understand Miss Brill. As Miss Brill’s character is revealed she becomes both a round and developing character due to her complexity and abrupt change in personality, outlook, and character. The complexity of Miss Brill’s character is quite perplexing. Miss Brill is a round character with many different sides. In the beginning of this story, Miss Brill seems to be a part of the upper class and enjoys her Sunday afternoons in the Jardins Publiques especially during the Season (Perrine’s L Continue...


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She hears the fur crying as she closes the box but in reality it was Miss Brill who was crying on the inside because she sees reality of life now and knows that she will not be going out anymore. Miss Brill underwent a major personality, outlook, and character. Miss Brill's imagination shows that she is isolated from the real world and what is going on around her. The character of Miss Brill is very imaginative, observant, compassionate, and out of touch with reality until an episode that helped her see the who she really was and how others really perceived her. At this point in the story Miss Brill is finally forced to realize who she is and what others think of her. She vicariously lives through the lives of other people. This story demonstrates that it is better for all people to face reality than to live in a fantasy because of the pain it can cause to those who are forced to see the truth of the real world. When the girl in the park refers to the fur as a fried whiting it gives a mental picture of a ragged, old, worn out fur. Miss Brill gave the fur the love and compassion that she was missing in her life because she was alone and lonely. As a developing character Miss Brill was forced to face reality of who she was, where she came from, and what others thought of her. However Miss Brill enjoys her time in the gardens for reasons that go beyond the casual conversation and social aspects of the Sunday gatherings. Miss Brill also is quite observant while in the gardens. In a sense, they are exactly alike. Miss Brill petted and stroked the fur as she sat in the park.