Essay on the Character of Miss Brill will be available on
ENG 1001:Sample ENG 1001 Essay on Mansfield's "Miss Brill"
Miss Brill appears to resist sadness by giving life to what she sees and hears the brilliant colors noted throughout the story (contrasted to the "little dark room" she returns to at the end), her sensitive reactions to the music, her delight in small details. By refusing to accept the role of a lonely woman, she is an actress. More importantly, she is a dramatist, actively countering sadness and self-pity, and this evokes our sympathy, even our admiration. A chief reason that we feel such pity for Miss Brill at the end of the story is the sharp contrast with the liveliness and beauty she gave to that ordinary scene in the park. Are the other characters without illusions? Are they in any way better than Miss Brill?
Short Story Critical Analysis: Sample Essay on "Miss Brill"
(Miss Brill would never use the word "shabby" to describe her own fur, though we know that it is.) The "gentleman in gray" is very rude to the woman: he blows smoke into her face and abandons her. Now, like Miss Brill herself, the "ermine toque" is alone. But to Miss Brill, this is all just a stage performance (with the band playing music that suits the scene), and the true nature of this curious encounter is never made clear to the reader. Could the woman be a prostitute? Possibly, but Miss Brill would never consider this. She has identified with the woman (perhaps because she herself knows what it's like to be snubbed) in the same way that playgoers identify with certain stage characters. Could the woman herself be playing a game? "The ermine toque turned, raised her hand as though she'd seen someone else, much nicer, just over there, and pattered away." The woman's humiliation in this episode anticipates Miss Brill's humiliation at the end of the story, but here the scene ends happily.