Character Analysis Essay Of Miss Brill – Essay Example
At the beginning of “Miss Brill,” the main character is not very self-aware. By the end of the story, however, she has become slightly more aware ofwho she is and how others view here. These changes occur throughout the story as she sits on the bench, and are a result of both her own thoughts and what she overhears other people saying.
At the beginning of the story, Miss Brill does not think of herself at all. She even hides her own feelings when she notices “something light and sad–no, not sad, exactly–something gentle seemed to move in her bosom” (Mansfield). This change from “sad” to “gentle” seems an obvious delusion.
Towards the middle of the story, Miss Brill realizes that she herself is “part of the performance” in the park, and not just an observer (Mansfield). This is the beginning of her self-realization. However, she still thinks she is important, and that people would notice if she was missing.
The conversation between the boy and the girl ruins this illusion. The boy calls her a “stupid old thing” and wonders “Why does she come here at all–who wants her?” Mansfield). Although Miss Brill does not respond to the comment directly, the ending segment of the story suggests that she is now aware of herself fully.
When she puts the fur away in the box, she refuses to look at it and thinks “she heard something crying” when she puts on the lid (Mansfield). Although nothing tells us explicitly that she is one-hundred percent aware, this metaphor suggests that she has stopped lying to herself, and is now fully aware of how the world sees her. This, for Miss Brill, is not a happy thing.
Mansfield, Katherine. “Miss Brill.” A Celebration of Women Writers. Ed. Mary Mark Ockerbloom. U. of Pennsylvania. Web. 1 Nov. 2010.