Self Denial And Self-Denialing In Miss Brill By Katherine Mansfield

Decent Essays

There are millions of people who live in self-denial and self-rejection. When one thinks of self-denial, most people picture a young person trying to find his or her way through society without being ridiculed, but what does it mean when self-denial lingers into adulthood? In her acclaimed short story, “Miss Brill” author Katherine Mansfield does not detail her story in a descriptive, elaborate style, yet the reader can infer that the protagonist, Miss Brill, is a woman who is self-conscious and yearns to be important to the point she denies her pain and sorrow.
Miss Brill desires to be normal since in the literary article “Reductive Imagery in Miss Brill” she is depicted as an “a foreigner (in xenophobic France) without friends or relatives” (Mandel 474) Anyone in that situation would try his or her best to fit in and not be mocked. The fur and pieces of clothing in the story are a symbol of her hidden self-denial and low confidence. Miss Brill goes out to present the clothes so the public would take notice, but the public did not. People who wear nice clothing want others to notice, and when people notice the nice clothing, a person’s confidence is elevated. Mrs. Brill is hurt that no one takes the time out to compliment or notice her. She yearns to be important to the public and be a person of significance. Yet, notice how Miss Brill is so detached from the society she is living in. She is more immersed in living through society instead of living her life and it produces

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