July 06, 2012
Journal #2 – Miss Brill
“Behind the rotunda the slender trees with yellow leaves down drooping”. This quote represents Miss Brill’s old age. Using the autumn season means that Miss Brill is long past her prime and is about to enter the final stage of her life – winter. Also, the “yellow leaves” described in the story are colourless and decayed, just like Miss Brill. At the end of the story, the boy and the girl basically say that Miss Brill is decayed and obsolete by calling her a “stupid old thing” who wears a very weird fur around herself. “Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur”. “Dear little thing! It was nice to feel it again”. “She unclasped the necklet quickly; quickly, without looking, laid it inside”. These quotes show the situational irony found with Miss Brill’s fur. The fur was supposed to bring happiness to Miss Brill as she was excited to wear it in the beginning. Instead, the fur brought despair to Miss Brill when the boy and the girl mock how odd she is, wearing the fur that “is so funny”. Miss Brill walks home devastated and in a sense, even blames the fur at the end as she quickly puts away the fur without even looking at it. “She had taken it out of its box that afternoon, shaken out the moth powder, given it a good brush, and rubbed the life back into the dim little eyes”. “It’s exactly like fried whiting”. “But today, she passed the baker’s by, climbed the stairs, went into the little dark room – her room like a cupboard”. “What has been happening said to me? Said the sad little eyes”. These quotes show how the fur symbolizes Miss Brill. The fur is isolated, locked up in a box that is hidden in dark and also obsolete as it is a very old fashioned piece of clothing. Likewise, Miss Brill is a lonely woman who seems to be detached from the community. Since the beginning, she seems isolated already as she is an English teacher with a non-French surname living in France. She is also lonely as “Miss”...
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