Miss Brill

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Katherine Mansfield?s ?Miss Brill? is a deep illustration of delusional thinking when one is deprived of emotional human bonds. This short story paints a picture of an elderly woman, Miss Brill, who believes life is a walk in the park, until a couple leads her to believe life is not all fantasy. Although this tale develops gradually, Miss Brill undergoes a drastic transformation at the tale?s end. The change that Miss Brill is forced to undergo is understandable through symbolism, characterization, and theme. Miss Brill?s fur is her most prized possession as she refers to it once as ?Dear little thing!? (182). She is excited to be taking the fur out of its box, but is heartbroken when a young woman refers to it as ?a fried whiting? (186). It is this moment when the drastic transformation of Miss Brill is evident. Miss Brill then leaves the park, skips the usual bakery stop, and goes home to her ?room like a cupboard? (186). She takes off the fur, puts it back in the box, and the last line says ?But when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying? (186). At this point it is now evident through symbolism, Miss Brill herself is crying. It is now Miss Brill finally sees reality.

The developing character of Miss Brill is first portrayed as an elderly woman, happy and content with life, however in denial about her lack of human contact. On her Sundays in the park she enjoys watching people, and taking part in what she calls a play, because ?even she had a part? (185). She also gets much satisfaction from listening to the conversations of others, listening to the band, and is especially happy this Sunday because it is the beginning of the season. Since Miss Brill believes her life is wonderful, it takes a harsh insult from a stranger to bring about the transformation. It is then when the character of Miss Brill develops into a woman realizing she is all alone.

The theme of ?Miss Brill? sums up the change that the protagonist undergoes. Creating...
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