Miss Brill

Topics: Old age, Middle age, Gerontology Pages: 2 (533 words) Published: August 28, 2013
 In the short story, by Katherine Mansfield "Miss Brill" illustrates the old woman's attempt to alleviate loneliness by creating an alternate reality for herself, yet she is ultimately forced to face the self-deception for what it truly is. Miss Brill, enjoys her habitual outings on Sundays, to hear the band play and soak in the atmosphere, but most of all she relishes the chance to sit in on the lives of others by listening and watching.           Miss Brill's habit of visiting the park every Sunday helps her to cope with her loneliness. It is clear how much enjoyment the old woman receives from the simple activity as the author states, “Oh, how fascinating it was! How she enjoyed it! How she loved sitting [t]here, watching it all!” The weekly outing provides an opportunity for Miss Brill to place herself in the company of others and to leave behind “the little dark room” in which she lives. Miss Brill employs the tactics of listening and watching to passively include herself in the activities of the park by “sitting in other people's lives for just a minute” by eavesdropping. This habit of “listening as though she didn't listen” helps her to feel included. Being a people watcher, Miss Brill pays special attention to those who surround her and hopes that “no doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn't been there”. Miss Brill seizes every opportunity she can to imagine herself as having some connection with the individuals she observes in attempt to get a sense of belonging. The weekly Sunday outing provides an escape of the isolation that she felt in her solitary existence by engaging in the events at the park. However, as Miss Brill observes and listens, she prefers to view her world through a safe distance to protect herself from confronting the truth of her lonely existence.           Miss Brill alters her perception of reality to avoid facing unpleasant aspects of her life.  An indication that Miss Brill skews her reality is seen in her perception of...
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