Point of View in Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill Essay

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The narrator in the story “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield, is telling us this story in the third person singular perspective. Our narrator is a non-participant and we learn no details about this person, from a physical sense. Nothing to tell us whether it is a friend of Miss Brill, a relative, or just someone watching. Katherine Mansfield’s Miss Brill comes alive from the descriptions we get from this anonymous person. The narrator uses limited omniscience while telling us about this beautiful Sunday afternoon. By this I mean the narrator has a great insight into Miss Brill’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and into her world as a whole, but no real insight into any of the other characters in this story. By using this point of view,…show more content…
The details as told, seem to be coming directly from Miss Brill at times. The narrator gets us settled into the park with Miss Brill and tells us that she sees those around her as “odd, silent, nearly all old, and from the way they stared they looked as though they’d just come from dark little rooms or even-even cupboards!” This tells me that Miss Brill sees herself differently than she sees others, not odd or funny. She is a part of all this life and activity at the park! An actor in the grand play and “somebody would have noticed if she hadn’t been there.” She really loved to be out with others and thought that she was very much a part of the world and not apart from it. Don’t we all feel this way? Some people are truly introverted and care little of interacting, but I think the majority of us strive to become part of the world and at times feel like this life is one big drama and we have a big part. Our role might only be important for one scene, but we feel like the leading man or woman at times. The narrator leads us to what appears to be a fitting climax; a crescendo of music and song, with all players involved. Miss Brill’s dreams of this were quickly shattered. The comments by the young people, “Why does she come here at all-who wants her? Why doesn’t she keep her silly mug at home?” leaves Miss Brill with the cold realization that she is in fact like the odd, old people that she watches in the
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