Comparison and Contrast of “Miss Brill” Critical Analyses

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The critical analyses “Miss Brill's Fragile Fantasy” and “Poor, Pitiful Miss Brill” take very different perspectives on the title character of Katherine Mansfield's “Miss Brill.” The former views Miss Brill as a character to be sympathized and defended, while the latter attacks and pities Miss Brill. While the essays have their similarities, “Fragile Fantasy” is much more successful in critically analyzing “Miss Brill” due to how it explained its view. The two critical analyses of “Miss Brill” share some commonalities but mainly differ in their organization, coherence, supporting evidence, and logical development.

Both “Fragile Fantasy” and “Poor, Pitiful” have a commonality in their organization. The essays begin with an introduction containing a thesis, body paragraphs about the topics in the thesis, and a conclusion. That is where the similarities end. The “Fragile Fantasy” essay handles topics that are a few characteristics of the story, which are point of view, characterization, and plot development. The essay is organized so each topic is allowed more than one paragraph in order to fully explain what makes Miss Brill a character who “evokes our sympathy” (“Fragile Fantasy”). On the other hand, “Poor, Pitiful” only allows less than one paragraph per topic by combining the first two in one paragraph. The topics in question are characteristics of Miss Brill, and included “old, ugly, scared, and foolish” (“Poor, Pitiful”). Overall, the organization of the essays is more different than alike.

Coherence is crucial in a quality essay. “Fragile Fantasy,” unlike “Poor, Pitiful,” is coherent on the sentence, paragraph, and essay level. The sentences and paragraphs flow from one topic to another easily with connections and smooth transitions. By doing this, the author ensures that each sentence is relevant and helps to thoroughly explain each topic. “Poor, Pitiful,” however, does not have as much coherence. The transition sentences between paragraphs are awkward,...
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