Miss Brill Analysis
Mansfield opening scene is among great natural charm and satisfaction, expressed through Miss Brill’s description of the park and the weather, however there is an undercurrent of danger, exemplified by the chill in the air. As she sits and listens to the band, Miss Brill feels a little unhappiness, which tempers her joy at the lovely day and her satisfaction of the music and people-watching in the park. Miss Brill cheerfully attempts to get rid of the sensation of unhappiness, to live in the minute and fully delight in the day, yet ideas to her lonesome and bare presence creep into the story at numerous points.
For example, Miss Brill exposes the emptiness of her own life when she uses up a lot emotion on the English lady she keeps in mind discussing eyeglasses with her husband. Why should Miss Brill care whether the female gets eyeglasses or not, or whether she values her kind and client husband? Her own life should be really empty for her to be so preoccupied with the lives of strangers. This preoccupation with the intimate lives of the complete strangers surrounding her continues, as Miss Brill observes the lady in the ermine toque talking with the man in gray. The reader can not help but compare the lady in the ermine toque with Miss Brill.
Both are older women using faded furs; both are pretending that their lives are gayer and brighter than they are. The rejection of the lady in the ermine toque upsets Miss Brill; she calls the male “The Brute” (2 ). This rejection foreshadows Miss Brill’s own rejection later in the story. In spite of these small shadows on her day, Miss Brill continues her reverie, envisioning herself as part of the play being staged before her.
Through the analogy of the play, she feels linked to individuals in the park and feels that she has a crucial role in the ongoing drama. In fact, she imagines herself as a starlet, and thinks of telling her void customer that she has actually been a starlet for a long time. She permits herself to go even further, imagining all of individuals in the park singing together with the band: they are all part of something uplifting and inspiring that they develop together. Miss Brill is certainly an actress and a great one.
She hides her unhappiness and isolation, even from herself; instead she concentrates on the joys in her life– her fur necklet, the lovely weather condition, and the motivating music in the park. She thinks of the lives of complete strangers and takes pleasure in eavesdropping on their conversations to provide her a sense of belonging and being linked to others that she lacks.
She is such a great actress that she does not relate herself with the other old, amusing, staring individuals in the park. The reader, nevertheless, can not miss out on the contrast. The moving climax of the story gets here when Miss Brill is shaken from her dreamworld, where she is an important “starlet” in the play of life. She is brought back to truth by 2 young enthusiasts, who disparage her “old mug” (3) which she must keep “at home” (3 ); to them, she is simply an insignificant old woman whom no one desires, wearing an ugly fur necklet.
Miss Brill is mentally devastated by these insults, especially originating from this young couple who are so much in love with each other, and to whom she has actually offered the starring role in her internal drama. Their insults and mockery are even more destructive because she sees them in such positive terms. Her day destroyed and her dream world collapsed, Miss Brill avoids her treasured trip to the pastry shop for her weekly reward and goes home to her “cabinet” (4 ), where she shuts up her fur in its box, imagining that she hears it weeping. Those thought of tears represent Miss Brill’s as-yet unshed tears.