Essay on Summary Of Katherine Mansfield 's ' Miss Brill '

1289 Words Jul 29th, 2015 6 Pages
Rocking on the Porch Told through the experiences of an elderly woman on Sunday afternoon, “Miss Brill,” a short story by Katherine Mansfield, drew me to the memory of my late great-grandmother and the residents of her assisted living home. Silenced by their isolation, often people in the advanced stages of life are driven by a desire to participate in the world around them. Miss Brill finds her place in the park in the interactions between others and the scenery around her, just as those that spent Sunday afternoons rocking back and forth on the porch of the assisted living home found their place watching the families of others come and go. The reader can immediately picture the scene unfold in “Miss Brill” from the descriptions of the narrator. In the story, Miss Brill is highly focused on clothing, not only expressing joy over her own fur, brought out of its box for the afternoon, but the accessories of those passing by. She describes, two girls in red, two soldiers in blue, and one woman she refers to exclusively by her hat, an ermine toque. With each passing character, Miss Brill categorizes them by appearance and dress, whether she deems them beautifully dressed or funny. As the story begins, we are given some information about Miss Brill and her afternoons in the park. Her name alone, Miss Brill, implies that she is single. Miss Brill also seems to experience symptoms of age. The narrator indicates the state of her health saying, “She felt a tingling in her hands…

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