Miss Brill Essay - Loneliness

Length: 5 Pages 1142 Words

A person who doesn't have any significant others in his/her life may create an alternate reality to make up for what they don't have. If Miss Brill realizes that what she believes isn't reality, she can become broken and emotionally devistated. Through point of view, representation, and symbolism, Mansfield is able to easily and clearly show how this happens to Miss Brill. One way in which Mansfield tries to exemplify the distinction of reality and Miss Brill's altered reality is through point of view. The story is told in third person limited omniscient which helps give the reader a clear point of distinction between what is happening versus what Miss Brill views it as. She views the entire park as a stage and herself an actress. This method of looking at things seems to give Miss Brill a sense of being needed or wanted. She actually looks down on the other people at the park as if they were less than what she is. While looking at the different people in the park Miss Brill overhears a conversation where a couple is talking about her and how funny she and the fur look. The man in the couple says: " "Why does she come here at all-who wants her? Why doesn't she keep her silly mug at home?" "It's her fu-fur wh Continue...

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Miss Brill is an old lady who doesn't have anyone around her that loves her or thinks anything of her. The narrator shares the details of the woman by saying: "she was wearing the ermine toque she'd bought when her hair was yellow" (81). Maybe we as a society may need to revaluate our priorities and start taking better care of 4our elderly to try and diminish the fear of being alone with nothing. Therefore she imagines that she is an actress, not allowing herself to see that she is old and alone. By using a limited omniscient narrator to tell the story, the reader gets a clear sense of how a person can perceive life differently to help them cope with their age and loneliness. The crying that Miss Brill hears comes from her own heart because she has just been crushed by the realization that she has been compelled to make at the park. The couple that she hears in the park exemplifies this by making fun of her fur which in turn means that they have been mocking her. To conclude, the story of Miss Brill shows what can happen if someone is not happy with one's personal reality and instead creates one's own world to counterbalance. She suddenly realizes that she has been creating all of these things in her mind. She views the fur as a beautiful possession, when actually it has become worn down and is coming apart. When she puts the fur away it is noted that she doesn't look at it. Miss Brill even goes on to imagine the fur asking: "What has been happening to me" (79). This is a characterization of how Miss Brill is rejected by society. It can also be deduced that the two are similar by comparing the fact that the woman is wearing an ermine toque which is a fur, similar to Miss Brill wearing her fur. This causes her to be devastated when she does realize that she is not a young and beautiful actress.


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