Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill Essay

612 words - 2 pages

Miss Brill is a story about an old woman that lacks companionship and self-awareness. She lives by herself and goes through life in a repetitive manner. Each Sunday, Miss Brill ventures down to the park to watch and listen to the band play. She finds herself listening not only to the band, but also to strangers who walk together and converse before her. Her interest in the lives of those around her shows the reader that Miss Brill lacks companionship.
     Loneliness plays an extremely large part of Miss Brill’s life and can be proven by things in the story. An example of Miss Brill’s lack of companionship is when she visits the park on Sunday’s. Not only did she look forward to listening to the band but she also looks forward to seeing what is going on with the lives of the others. “She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn’t listen, at sitting in other people’s lives just for a minute while they talked around her.” The reader can clearly see that she has perfected eves dropping as if it was a talent. Unlike those who take interest in chess or a game of spades her game consists of listening in on others and then acting as if she isn’t. She has found herself living vicariously through others by eves dropping in on conversations that do not include her. Sometimes she finds herself taking parts of these conversations and begins to role-play as if she is an actress.
     Here is what I think would be a modern view of Miss Brill. An old lady with worn out gray hair walks along a mostly deserted sidewalk. As she takes tired step after tired step she thinks about how lonely life can be sometimes....

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