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Illusion versus Reality in Miss Brill Essay

Project id 1015079
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 1652
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Illusion versus Reality in Miss Brill Is it really "alright" to talk to yourself as long as you do not speak back? But what if your fur bit talks back? Back in Katherine Mansfield's short story, "Miss Brill," it is a fast proven fact that Miss Brill has a strange relationship with her fur necklet (440). Nevertheless, it's the author's descriptive use of symbolism which provides a deeper understanding of Miss Brill's personality. Katherine Mansfield generates the woman in the ermine toque (441) in similarity to Miss Brill to reveal Miss Brill's identity in relationship with her own fur piece and invite comparison, which further exemplifies Miss Brill's perception of reality. Introduced in the narrative as only "an ermine toque" (441), Ms. Mansfield establishes the woman wearing this fur hat for a symbol which aids in defining the connection of one-ness Miss Brill has with her very own fur. Throughout Miss Brill's description of the woman from the ermine toque, it is clear that Miss Brill interrupts the woman in relation to the fur she wears (441-442). Miss Brill contrasts the woman's coloring to the color of her fur by pointing out that everything, her hair, her face, even her eyes, [is] exactly the same colour as the shabby ermine"(441). Miss Brill goes on to explain the woman's hand as being "a tiny yellowish paw" (441). When the girl exits Miss Brill's attention, she does not walk away as a person could, however she "patters away" as a small animal might (442). Miss Brill's inability to differentiate clearly between the girl and the ermine toque she wears reinforces Miss Brill's identity in relationship with her own fur. Mansfield employs this description as a method to suggest that the necessity to interpret Miss Brill in the descri...

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