Critique of Miss Brill

Kathleen Mansfield Murry is known to be a popular New Zealand Modernist short story author who composed stories under the pen name Katherine Mansfield. Miss Brill was released in the 1920’s and is embeded in post-World War I in France. In “Miss Brill,” Katherine Mansfield presents readers to a scheduled, solitary female who likes to eavesdrop on complete strangers, who looks at a fur coat her dearest good friend and sometimes she envisions herself as a starlet.

The style in the story “Miss Brill” is how solitude and a sense of rejection can cause an individual to be unable to differentiate perception and reality. This is made really clear in the manner in which Miss Brill views and views the world in a rather positive and play-like method. At the start of the story, we see Miss Brill taking out a fur and “rubbing the life back into the dim little eyes”. In a sense, this fur represents Miss Brill; she is putting some enjoyment into her life and starting her day off positively. And so, as she heads to the gardens, she engages in everything around her, seeing little bit, apparently insignificant, details. She likes this view of her Sundays and she tends to produce stories in her head about everybody that passes her. Hence, we see how Miss Brill produces this perfect environment around her by twisting what is in fact surrounding her. It can be reasoned that this mentality is a consequence of the lady’s isolation and, as seen later on in the story, her sense of rejection. The story has an increase in action when the young girl refuses to do something for her fan since Miss Brill is viewing. The story reaches its climax when Miss Brill overhears the young couple discuss wanting Miss Brill to leave and they tease Miss Brill fur. After learning that, Miss Brill leaves and walks back to her “cabinet” which describe a dark space. In the end, Miss Brill puts the fur back into the box and, as she does this, she believes she can hear it crying. In this circumstances, one can see how Miss Brill’s solitude and misunderstanding of truth has led to an extreme dosage of reality, ultimately leading to the woman’s sense of rejection. One can also assume that this is not the first time Miss Brill has actually encountered rejection, which has caused her reserved personality.

The physical context of Miss Brill is in France throughout the 1920’s. The story occurs in a popular park with a band that plays every Sunday. The emotional scene of the story is set around solitude and judgment. In this story, Miss Brill is a lead character as the story is concentrated on her and her weekly visit to the park. The young love couple is communicated as an antagonist as they trigger the conflict in the story. Everyone else in the park such as the old couple on the bench, the girls and the soldiers, in addition to the little kids running around are small characters.

Katherine Mansfield’s story is composed in Third Person Restricted Omniscient perspective. This viewpoint permits readers into Miss Brill’s mind and was the ideal choice in order to communicate Mansfield’s message of the story. If readers were not able to understand Miss Brill’s ideas and feelings and to hear and see what she hears and sees, the exact same elements could not be conveyed. For instance, by just understanding Miss Brill’s ideas, the author had the ability to produce this fake world in the Miss Brill’s eyes, which, ultimately, result in a thorough understanding of her isolation and failure to distinguish perception and reality. For this story, this choice of point of view was essential.

Mansfield uses a few examples of importance throughout her story “Miss Brill”. For one, the orchestra and the tunes they play are symbolic of Miss Brill’s sensations throughout her time at the park. When Miss Brill sees and senses happy people in the park, she states that the band played “quicker, more gaily than ever”. This assists to show Miss Brill’s inner ideas. The importance shown in this story is extremely helpful in representing Miss Brill on a much deeper, more emotional level.

From this story which demonstrated how understanding can be different from reality and evaluating individuals on perception could extremely well make them feel turned down and lonely. One can conclude that our understanding of truth can typically be misjudged due to personal situations. In addition, one can gain from this story the severe reality that society is not as flexible and caring, as all of us want it to be. There are lots of Miss Brill in this world and while they should find out to connect and see truth, the people on the outdoors should appreciate that they do not know everybody’s story and background. Those individuals should discover to be accepting of others despite their circumstances. The true message of this story is that our own inner-selves are our hardest battle; if we are not comfortable with ourselves we can not be comfortable with our environments. This will, for that reason, ultimately lead to a failure to differentiate understanding and truth, requiring one to find out the hard way what real truth is.