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Commentary on Miss Brill


commentary on Miss Brill

woman: he blows smoke into her face and abandons her. Miss Brill listens to them talking, all the while still soundlessly singing. During this time the band is more daring and less self-conscious about its playing because few people are really listening, but Miss Brill listens and notes that the conductor wears a new coat. Like Joyce, Mansfield rejected an intrusive commentary, allowing the reader to form a reaction to the character in more subtle ways. Active Themes, cite This Page. Why does she come here at allwho wants her? Similarly, Miss Brill's "queer, shy feeling" when she tells her pupils how she spends her Sunday afternoons suggests a partial awareness, at least, that this is an admission of loneliness. Miss Brill instinctively romanticizes themshe sees them as rich, glamorous heroes of the play, who are in love, because they dress nicely and because they are young, fitting the stereotype of romantic heroes in films and books. It almost seems as if the way for them to resolve their argument is to turn against someone else. An aging, lonely woman living in Paris and maintaining herself by teaching English is the subject of this character portrait by Katherine Mansfield.

Miss Brill Summary



commentary on Miss Brill

Our perspective of the scene is different from Miss Brill's, but her enthusiasm is contagious and we are led to expect something momentous when the two-star players appear. Miss Brill keeps the fur in a dark box taking it out and shaking it of its accumulated dust before wearing. The repetition of the cupboard image demonstrates that Miss Brill now sees herself as the boy and girl see her: as just another of the people in the stands, as odd, silent, old. Try it risk-free, no obligation, cancel anytime. But to Miss Brill, this is all just a stage performance (with the band playing music that suits the scene and the true nature of this curious encounter is never made clear to the reader. There are hints in the story that self-awareness (not to mention self-pity) is something Miss Brill avoids, not something of which she is incapable. Yet in doing so they also break the romance of Miss Brills illusion of people united in a universal play, and of her own important role in that play. Miss Brill is disappointed that they do not talk and she is unable to eavesdrop on them. Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield, compare your response to the short story with the analysis offered in this sample critical essay. She tends to insert herself into the lives of others, as she judges people for what she hears. But when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying.

Mansfield has managed not so much to touch our hearts in any gushing, sentimental way, but to touch our fears. They are performing for her benefit, she thinks, even though to us it appears that they (like the band which "didn't care how it played if there weren't any strangers present are oblivious to her existence. Miss Brill appears to be too innocent and isolated from life to even comprehend human nastiness. Almost despite herself, it seems, she does identify with these marginal figures-these minor characters.


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