Miss Brill

Miss Brill

Miss Brill
Katherine Mansfield

Plot and structure
Who is Miss Brill? Occupation, age, family, friends? what does she usually do on Sunday? what does she do on One Sunday?
What does she do before going to the park? What does she do while reaching the park? What does she do when going back home?

Where is the climax of the story?

at first, of the upper class, enjoy a Sunday leisurely with a fur on the shoulder or neck. especially, from the way she deals with the fur, she is felt passionate, sensitive, lovely lady, still full of hope for life and beauty. It seems she is going to some kind of party or date. She may be Above 30, not very young, because young lady in 20 would be more energetic and bold, not so delicate and subtle.. But, there is something notable in the leisurely and happy air. “ chill, something light and sad.” hidden behind. But the author tries to soften this shadow, hoping we just ignore it and are ready to go with Miss Brill to enjoy the occasion.

but, later, in the park, when she is eager to listen to others’ private talks and tries to “sit in others’ lives” by overhearing, observing and fancying. We know there is neither party nor date. she just comes here every Sunday to sit and watch and think, even fancy. She is felt self-contained, isolated, just alone with herself, no acquaintance, no family members. She is just sitting and entertaining herself by watching others, commenting silently and even fancying herself an actress, which highly satisfies her and even moves her into tears. at this moment, we feel she is a little pitiful, wanting to be accepted and infuse in some kind of company. So a light feeling of loneliness is touched. But the feeling is just “ something light and sad, no, not sad, something gentle….” because she is able to entertain herself by guessing, commenting and fancying. She even thinks others are just like her “odd, silent, nearly all old, and … they’d just come from the dark little rooms or even, __even cupboards!” ( which reminds us of the fur, which also comes from a dark little box. Suddenly we sense the symbolism.)

but, at this moment, I would fancy her above 40, because the atmosphere is growing a bit heavier insider, even covered by a superficial joy. but just when she is satisfied with her daydreaming and self-content, the cruel reality pulls her down to the ground, heavily hurt and shattered into pieces. She is felt” ugly, old, and unwanted” , even though she tries to look good with fur, and fancy her necessary actress. she loses all desires, even a long-standing habit, creeps back home to continue cocooning, like the “fur”, sealed again in “cupboard”. ( the symbolism is quite obvious now. )

we hear her heart crying. It is until this moment that we sense a strong feeling of loneliness, which can not be shrugged away by imagination or illusion. that is a kind of chilling feeling, cooling your blood and making you frozen. When the heart dies,

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