“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 Literature 98). 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 looked forward to the conversation of other people in the gardens because she felt as though she was sitting in on their lives for just a moment. She vicariously lives through the lives of other people. It was as though she was enjoyed living in their life for the moment because she felt as though her life wasn’t exciting enough. Miss Brill also is quite observant while in the gardens. She believes that the people in the park are part of a great big play (Perrine’s Literature 99). Miss Brill’s imagination shows that she is isola...