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Miss Brill Essay

The short story, “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield conveys to the readers of loneliness of a person and how that loneliness can seem to warp the reality around that person. The story revolves around the main character Miss Brill who goes to the park every Sunday afternoon. She wears a fox fur pelt around her neck and she strokes it as she eavesdrops on other people’s conversations. She gives emotions and voice to the fox pelt personifying the inanimate object. This suggests that she wants company to converse with; however, with no one around except the fox pelt around her neck, it is the only thing she can converse with. The readers who are observing her from objective view are given slight hints that Miss Brill is lonely but Miss Brill herself is not aware of this fact.

This can be seen when she compares the old couple that were sitting nearby her to those that came out of an old cupboard. This comparison suggests she sees the old couple has these old dusty cups that have been forgotten about in the back of the cupboard. Throughout the story, Miss Brill tries to convince herself that she is part of a play and that she belongs in that play, that she holds as much importance as everybody else around her. However, as the story progresses she realizes that she is indeed alone and lonely. After hearing what the young couple had to say about her she heads for her home. Once she is home she puts the fox back in its box, but says she heard something crying. The something crying is most likely Miss Brill herself realizing the sad truth and becomes depressed.

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