Miss Brill

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Miss Brill is a story told through the thoughts of a woman inwardly creating an oasis from which she can feel connected to the world around her. The mood in the beginning of the story seems cheerful . A sunny, autumn Sunday afternoon with a band performing music and a variety of people out enjoying the day at the public park, and the reader is lulled into the false impression that Miss Brill is just another happy person. But further along in the story, one begins to understand that Miss Brill's thoughts are actually that of a person feeling lonely, seeking a connection to society.

Miss Brill's weekly visits to the public park are her sanctuary from the loneliness which she feels. Her eagerness at the opportunity to "sit in other people's lives for just a minute," is a clear example of how she longs to have connections with people. Miss Brill even goes as far as giving affection to her fur, by calling it "dear little thing" and "little rouge", and tries to find solace in her solitude from an inanimate object. Miss Brill wants to feel connected to something so badly, she begins to imagine her weekly ritual as "theatre", herself as an "actress", further distorting the reality of her situation by thinking that she is an integral part of a play. Miss Brill sees others in the park, "odd, silent, nearly all old," but she doesn't give thought to the fact that that they are similar to herself.

Towards the end of the story, Miss Brill's elaborate distortion of reality begins to crumble. In eavesdropping on a young man's conversation with his girlfriend, Miss Brill's oasis is destroyed when she hears the young man refer to her as a "stupid, old thing" and that she should "keep her silly, old mug at home". Upon hearing this, Miss Brill is forced to face reality, realizing that she is not an "actress" and that nobody "would have noticed if she hadn't been there". Miss Brill returns home to her "little dark room" where she removes her fur, placing it back in the...
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