Laura And Miss Brill Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

Laura from The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, and Miss Brill from “Miss Brill,” written by Katherine Mansfield, share many qualities that allow them to be compared as similar people living at separate stages of life. Both Miss Brill and Laura lead lives of seclusion and are very uncomfortable with people because of their own fears and problems with self-esteem. One of their main differences is their age because Miss Brill is an older woman and Laura is a young woman. What is peculiar is all their similarities. Being that these similarities are so striking Miss Brill provides foreshadowing of Laura’s life. Miss Brill’s life is like a progressed version of Laura’s current ...view middle of the document...

Miss Brill owns some nice things, but as a teacher is obviously not wealthy, so all the money she uses to buy nice things has probably been saved up over time because she only has herself to buy for. Her ermine is like Laura’s glass animals. They put more weight in objects than in people. This is because they can project what they want in life onto objects.
Because of their lack of human interaction both Ms. Brill and Laura are very fragile people. The things people say about them and the feelings of inadequacy they have acquired feeling causes them to be even more hurt. Miss Brill goes to the park every Sunday to indulge in the happenings of the people’s lives there. At a point in the story when one person talks badly of her and how she’s gotten into this habit it crushes her. Laura was ignored in high school and is afraid of rejection from people. Both Mrs. Brill and Laura have symbols of their fragility that they hold dear because they embrace that fragility. Mrs. Brill has an ermine that she speaks to as a friend and it is in disrepair. Laura has glass animals that she treasures and being they are made of glass they are fragile like Laura is. The innocence of these items is very similar to Mrs. Brill and Laura, because Mrs. Brill and Laura are unassuming, weak willed people and hey really cannot do a lot for themselves just like inanimate objects have.
Because Mrs. Brill and Laura are so affected by people’s criticism and views, they tend to escape into other places. The things that they escape into cannot judge them and they are able to project the things that they need to survive and be somewhat happy onto their escapes. Mrs. Brill does not even do this at that point of her life. She simply uses other people’s lives to escape into. Laura has not fallen this far into an imaginary world yet but the precursors are there. Laura has a set of glass animals that she has a fairly unhealthy attachment to. Through her ownership of these animals she finds peace and reality is less crushing to her. Both of these escapes are similar because they are both artistic. Laura loves the arts and these glass animals are art pieces. The people in the park are like actors in a play to Mrs. Brill. So, both of their escapes are very based in art. Mrs. Brill and Laura are able to make their place in society a lighter burden to carry through these two forms of escapism.
Both Miss Brill and Laura have very romanticized views of life. Despite their lack of connection with people they are always viewing life in a romantic way. Miss Brill views the park as a play. She feels like she is an actor in theater and that the scene of the park is full of life and a variety of fascinating actors and people. Laura reserves herself to her room with art and music. She also has her glass animals which play into her love of art. Miss Brill is dressed very well and...

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