Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill"
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This paper discusses Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill", a story of an elderly woman who spends her Sunday afternoon visiting a seaside park. The paper looks at how, by using structuralist technique for criticism, Mansfield questions the discrepancy between the character's inner nature and outward appearance through several key binary oppositions: loneliness/companionship, isolation/inclusion, youth/old age, and reality/illusion. Of these binaries--loneliness/companionship and reality/illusion--form the crux of the story, and being the all-encompassing binaries and overarching themes. The paper also examines how, by using the third-person limited omniscient point of view, Mansfield successfully shows that old Miss Brill tries to avoid loneliness by making up illusions that will free herself from reality, but eventually ends up having to face the reality again.
From the Paper:"Initially, "Miss Brill" begins with a great day with the blue sky "powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins Publique" (Mansfield 464). Miss Brill picks out her fur, so she can wear it to the park. After she arrives at the park, the band is playing. She sits down at her "special" seat next to an old man and woman. Miss Brill always looks forward to hear other people's conversation. An Englishman and his wife also sit next to her on the other side. Miss Brill wants to "shake" her because she doesn't seem to appreciate anything her husband does for her. Miss Brill turns her attention to some other people, who sit "still as statues" (Mansfield 465). She loves to be an observer--sitting by herself and watching other people's behavior. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Mansfield, Katherine. "Miss Brill." Reading and Writing from Literature. John E. Schwiebert. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. 464-467.
Cite this Book Review:
Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill" (2008, December 21) Retrieved July 12, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/katherine-mansfield-miss-brill-110346/
"Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill"" 21 December 2008. Web. 12 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/katherine-mansfield-miss-brill-110346/>